Alwaght- Nakba Day is the day of formation of the Israeli regime on May 14,1948, and marks a mix of pain and disappointment in the mind of any Palestinian and Arab living in the occupied territories, especially those who witnessed the events of the Nakba and felt the bitterness of days when all of a sudden a brutal regime came to existence and expelled them from their ancestral lands. That is why Nakba Day is remembered as a sad historical day until Palestinians can retake their lands.
The Jews who in 1917 and after Balfour Declaration rushed to Palestine to realize their dream of foundation of a Jewish state within three decade solidified their toehold in Palestine by buying lands of Palestinians. The UN in 1947 approved Resolution 181 which gave 47 percent of Palestinian territories to the Palestinians and 53 percent to the Jews. But the Zionists did not commit to this distribution and in 1948 formed their fake state, seizing all of the Palestinian territories.
Displacement and genocide of Palestinians
Foundation of the Israeli regime did not take place without bloodshed and in peace, and this brutal regime committed mass killings to consolidate pillars of its newly-founded government. With the beginning of the official occupation of Palestine, between 1948 and 1950, more than 530 Palestinian towns and villages were destroyed, and many of these demolitions were conducted to block the displaced Palestinians from returning to their homes. Over the past 75 years, more than 100,000 Palestinians have been killed by direct Israeli fire and a million people have been arrested. According to the Palestinian Bureau of Statistics, the Nakba led to the displacement of 800,000 Palestinians out of 1.4 million people in Palestine, and the Israeli regime killed 15,000 Palestinians and carried out more than 70 massacres. The Israeli daily Haaretz reported in 2021 that since the establishment of the Israeli regime, the publication of millions of documents related to massacre of Palestinians has been blocked.
One of the most brutal massacres was committed in Deir Yassin village in the western outskirts of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), and on April 9, 1948, more than 110 Palestinians were killed by Jewish terrorist groups. After this brutal event, many Palestinians fled their homes for fear of repeating similar massacre, and the Israelis easily took over their lands.
The killing and looting by the Jews on the day of the Nakba was so catastrophic that even the Americans have admitted it. John MacDonald, the US consul-general in Al-Quds at the time, wrote on July 27 that year in his report: ‘In areas of Jerusalem occupied by Israeli forces, U.S. Consul General John MacDonald wrote on July 27 that there was “no respect or protection for Arab interests and property. Every Arab house and shop has been thoroughly looted and even window frames, doors, plumbing, electric fixtures and installations [were] removed.... Due to these conditions, there is little, if any, possibility of Arabs returning to their homes in Israel or Jewish occupied Palestine.”
The Nakba is so tragic for the Palestinians that those born in those days do not celebrate their birthday as they say that in that year, they lost thousands of dears and their lands and even feel sad for being born in those days.
Nakba, the unhealing pain
The Nakba Day gave Palestine’s enemy a right it never had. The Israelis occupied Palestine and displaced its people, and at that time a majority of the world countries turned a blind eye to the Israeli crimes against people of Palestine.
Examining the crimes of the occupiers in the past 75 years shows the fact that the meaning of Nakba is not limited to the loss of lands, but it is the story of a pain that does not go away and a wound that does not heal, and the Palestinians feel its pain every moment with their flesh and bone as they have tasted the essence of grief by watching their homes destructed and looted and their farms and fields confiscated.
Many of the Palestinians forced out of their homes still keep their keys out of a hope of one day returning to them. In 2018, for weeks the border area between the Gaza Strip and the occupied territories witnessed ‘Great March of Return’ campaign in which tens of thousands of Palestinians participated and demanded the right to return to their cities. Palestinians commemorate this day every year on May 15, the day after the Nakba Day, to show that they are still the original inhabitants of the occupied lands that were usurped from them.
Although the Israelis claim that the Palestinians willfully abandoned their villages during the conflicts and deny any massacre of them, there are documents of Nakba showing that the Israelis with arms forced the Palestinians out of their lands and those who resisted this coercion paid the price by their blood. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians lost their homes and settled in neighboring countries after the announcement of foundation of the fake state. According to the statistics, the number of refugees and descendants of expelled Palestinians who are now living in different countries reaches more than seven million.
According to international law, refugees have the right to return to their homes and properties from which they were displaced, but the Israelis not only do not allow the Palestinians to return, but also they are trying to occupy the small remaining part of Palestine in the West Bank and Gaza and form a united Israeli land. The expansion of settlements in the West Bank, which has faced the reaction of the international community, is part of the scenario of expelling the Palestinians. Currently, some 750,000 settlers live in 250 settlements in the occupied West Bank and Al-Quds, while Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.
Although many of the Palestinians who were present in Nakba Day are not alive now, their descendants are now holding up the flag of struggle against the occupiers and trying to reclaim their homeland. The Israelis were hopeful that with the passage of time, the occupation would be erased from the memory and history of the Palestinians, but what is happening now in the occupied territories demonstrates that the Palestinian youth have not forgotten their right and count the moments to return to their ancestral lands. The Palestinians have proven that they will do everything for the liberation of their land, and the ‘martyrdom operations’ by the younger generation against the armed-to-the-jaw enemy in recent years bear proof to the fact that the Palestinians will never give up.
Return of hope to Palestinian camp
Several wars between the Israeli regime and the Arabs followed occupation of Palestine, and in all of them the occupiers emerged as winners, and each time the Arabs were defeated, the Palestinian hope for liberation of their lands turned into despair. Arab and Palestinian Authority’s shift from struggle to compromise and negotiations with Tel Aviv has not borne fruits over the past decades but legitimizing the occupation and causing further Palestinian retreat. But rise of resistance groups in the Palestinian developments gradually turned the tide. The Palestinians came to believe that they have no other choice but to stand and resist the occupiers to retake their land, and that was the main driver behind building the resistance body. The first and second intifadas, whose only weapons were stones and slingshots, injected new blood into the veins of the fledgling resistance, and now rockets have taken the place of stones. Actually, what was a sapling nearly three decades ago has now turned into a stout tree, bringing back optimism about liberation more than any other time.
Now and in the 75th Nakba Day, the tears and smiles have been replaced and it is the Palestinians that celebrate victory over the Israeli military, and on the opposite side, the Israelis who are deeply divided by home differences are talking about the curse of the 8th decade and collapse.
The resistance groups in Gaza and the West Bank have dealt huge blows to the Israelis by their rockets and drones, destroying its hollow power. By creating the deterrence equation against the Israeli army, the resistance has uplifted the morale of the Palestinians to liberate their ancestral land, and the Jews who once traveled to the so-called Promised Land from around the world with their free will, now are reverse migrating for the fear of the Palestinian rockets, something making it easier and less costly for the Palestinians to liberate their land.
From another aspect, the international atmosphere over the past two years has been shaping up against Israeli regime and passing of the UN resolutions against Tel Aviv indicates that the occupiers have no right in the Palestinian lands. For the first time in its history, the UN General Assembly voted in favor of commemorating the 75th anniversary of the Nakba Day under a resolution on November 30, 2022, confirming the authenticity of the Palestinian right over the occupied territories.
The collapse of the Israeli security and power beside deep political crises and massive anti-government protests in the occupied territories and shift of the field developments in favor of the resistance have set off the alarm bells for demise of the Israeli regime. And the joint operations the Gaza-based resistance groups launched against the occupation in the past few days have made the Palestinians and regional public opinion more optimistic about liberation of Palestine.