Posted by: hamede | May 15, 2010

Commemorating Al Nakba

Today marks the 62  anniversary of the Palestinian Nakba [i.e. The ‘Catastrophe’], the day in which around 750,000 of the original inhabitants of Palestine lost their homes and lives to become refugees in neighboring countries in the year 1948. In that day, 75% of the Arabic population of Palestine fled outside the conflict zone, a conflict that is commemorated by the Palestinians as a catastrophe and by the Israelis as a liberation war that ended with what was described as independence.

In a short period after the war ended in favor of the Jewish militias, the new-born Israelis destroyed more than 400 villages in which those refugees were living for thousands of years in an attempt to erase any non-Jewish appearance inside Palestine. Many of those villages and towns were rebuilt and resettled by Jews and the names of those villages and towns were changed from Arabic to Hebrew. It is worthy to quote Moshe Dyan describing the situation before and after that:

“Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I don’t blame you because geography books no longer exist, not only do the boooks not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahlal arose in the place of Mahlul; Kibbutz Gvat in the place of Jibta; Kibbutz Sarid in the place of Huneifis; and Kefar Yehushu’a in the place of Tal al-Shuman. There is not one single place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

[ Moshe Dyan, in Haifa, quoted by Ha’aretz, April, 4 1969. Reproduced by Ed Walid Khalidi in the book “All That Remains”]

In 1950, the UNRWA was able to register 914,000 Palestinian as refugees from the same conflict. Today, the estimated number of the Palestinian refugees is around 4.4 millions registered in UNRWA with roughly 1.5 millions unregistered for multiple reasons, and another 770,000 displaced refugees after the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza in 1967. Most of the refugees today live in what can easily be described as inhumane lifestyles inside refugee camps that are located mainly inside Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the occupied Gaza Strip and The West Bank, and around the world.

The International community, represented by the United Nations, directly recognized the catastrophe and issued the famous 194 resolution in 11 December 1948 and kept reaffirming it every year ever since, the resolution stated on the following:

“..the [Palestinian] refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.” [source]

Israel, and since the day of its establishment, refused to abide by the International Law and refused to allow a single refugee to return to his home, every now and then, an Israeli official reassures to all the Palestinian refugees around the world that their right to return to their original homes will never be accepted by the Jewish state.

It remains unquestionable that for any Palestinian leadership the issue of the refugees lay on top of their priorities at any negotiations to take place; according to most Palestinians, the real Palestinian cause is the cause of the refugees, and judging by the everlasting Israeli stance from this cause, any negotiations that will not embrace a total just solution to the issue of the refugees will never see the light.




  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Qwaider Planet, Abe star . Abe star said: Commemorating Al Nakba #Uncategorized → […]

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