Nakba: A look into Israeli brutally and ethnic cleansing of Palestinian people

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By Muslim Mirror Network

The Nakba is the catastrophe that befell the Palestinian people in the year 1948, and represented one of the largest operations of ethnic cleansing in contemporary history, during which about 957 thousand Palestinians were forcibly uprooted from their homes, estimated at more than 65% of the Palestinian people who lived on their land in 1948. The indigenous Palestinians became refugees in their own country and abroad, in refugee camps, neighboring countries and diaspora.

Pre-Nakba events

The chapters of the Palestinian Nakba began to be embodied on the ground with the issuance of the Balfour Declaration in 1917 from the British government, which was approved in the British Mandate over Palestine against the will of the Palestinian owners of land which unjustly granted the land of the Palestinian people and the State of Palestine to be a “national home for the Jewish people” by the British Mandate which planned and executed a full-fledged crime, provided facilities to the Zionist militias to control over the land of Palestine. In addition, the British Mandate authority enacted laws in the interest of Jewish immigrants and granting them privileges to own land; the door of immigration to Palestine was opened wide for them.

The spark of Palestinian protests erupted in Jerusalem and Hebron, extending to many parts of Palestine in 1929 against the Jewish claims of ownership of the Al-Buraq Wall which became known as the Al-Buraq Revolution. The Commission assigned by the British government issued a report that was approved by the League of Nations confirming its ownership to the Islamic endowments alone. This was followed by the outbreak of the Great Palestinian Revolution between 1936 and 1939 against the British Mandate and to demand independence and an end to the policy of open Jewish immigration and forced purchase of land in favor of the Jews. The British Mandate authority imposed martial law and killed more than 5,000 Palestinians.

The Zionist movement established its armed militias with the support of the British Mandate government which provided them with weapons. These militias were called the Irgun, the Haganah, the Stern and others.
On November 29, 1947, the United Nations General Assembly issued Resolution 181 of the Palestine Partition Plan, which stipulated the partition of Palestine into two states: Arab and Jewish, with the city of Jerusalem as a corpus separatum to be governed by a special international regime.

After the issuance of the Partition Plan resolution and in light of the continuation of the mandate authority, those Zionist militias began to organize a series of mass massacres aimed at terrorizing and expelling the Palestinian population from the regions of Galilee, the coast and the Negev, among which the massacre of Deir Yassin, Al-Dawayima, Haifa and others amounting to 51 documented massacres. At the end of the Mandate on May 15, 1948, the State of Israel was declared, and launched an expansionist war during which it seized more than half of the lands allocated to the Palestinian Arab state and the Jerusalem region according to the Partition resolution and during which a systematic plan was implemented to displace Palestinian citizens and expel them by force, by means of threat and terror from their cities. 531villages were destroyed and many racist laws to confiscate the property of the indigenous Palestinians and ensure that they do not return were enacted, the most dangerous of which are the Absentee Property Law and the Law of Return.

The Nakba continues

Despite the declaration of the cease-fire between the Arab countries and Israel in 1949, and the issuance of General Assembly Resolution No. 194 stipulating the return of the refugees, which together with the Partition decision constituted a condition for accepting Israel’s membership in the United Nations, the Israeli government not only disavowed its commitments and prevented the return of the Palestinian refugees, but rather continued the process of forced displacement of residents of many Palestinian villages in areas under its control, destroying these villages and preventing them from returning to them. The Israeli army forces also continued to perpetrate many horrific massacres, such as the massacres of Kafr Qassem, Qibiya and others.
Following the June 1967 war and Israel’s military occupation of the West Bank, including Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, the occupation authorities organized the forced displacement of about 430,000 Palestinians, most of whom were forced to leave to Jordan and many of the villages of Latrun were destroyed and its residents were prevented from returning to them.

The occupation authorities systematically continue its illegal polices of land confiscation, house demolitions, and forcible displacement in many areas of the West Bank, such as in Sheikh Jarrah in Jerusalem, Hebron and areas targeted by settlement expansion, especially those isolated by the apartheid wall. These Israeli systematic violations and crimes prove the fact that the Nakba is an ongoing international crime that represent a grave violation under international law, a violation of the United Nations Charter and a threat to international peace and security, Israel is protected from its consequences under the umbrella of international silence. The international community must take responsibility to put an end to Israel’s impunity and hold it accountable.
The intervention of the international community to compel Israel- the occupying power- to the rules of international law, to protect the Palestinian people from organized state terrorism, to end the colonial occupation of the occupied Palestine and to enable the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights to return, self-determination and independence of their state with Jerusalem as its capital has become more urgent than ever.

The Nakba of 1948: Facts and Figures

– 957 thousand Palestinians were forcibly displaced out of (one million four hundred thousand) Palestinians who used to live on their land.

– 531 Palestinian villages were completely destroyed after the forced displacement of the Palestinians from them by the Israeli occupation authorities in the year 1948 and what remained was subjected to the control of Israel and its laws.

– Zionist gangs committed 51 documented massacres against Palestinian civilians during the Nakba and there are dozens of other massacres committed after that.
– The number of Palestinian martyrs who fell during the Nakba reached about 15 thousand martyrs and tens of thousands of wounded.
– Only about 150 thousand Palestinians remained in the Palestinian cities and villages on which “Israel” was established after the Palestinian Nakba. At the end of the year 2022, their number reached about (one million and 750 thousand) people.

Palestinian refugees in the state of Palestine and diaspora
Palestinian refugees are among the most numerous refugees in the world, and the oldest issue in the corridors of the United Nations. According to the statistics of UNRWA as of September 30, 2022, the number of Palestinian refugees has reached (6,617,869), equivalent to (1,621,891) families in all areas of UNRWA operations, constituting 46.1% of the total Palestinian population in the world.

A third of the registered refugees live in 59 official camps in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and Gaza Strip. The remaining two-thirds live in cities and towns in the host countries and in the state of Palestine in difficult living conditions that were exacerbated by the continuation of the global and regional economic crises, and the Ukrainian-Russian war.

Statistical data show that the percentage of Palestinian refugees in the occupied Palestine constitutes 53.7% (2,857,179 refugees) of the total Palestinian population residing in the Palestinian territories at the end of 2022, which is (5.4 million Palestinians). (2,532,941) Palestinian refugees reside in Jordan, (672,710) Palestinian refugees reside in Syria, and (555,039) Palestinian refugees reside in Lebanon.

The number of registered Palestinian refugees inside and outside the camps until the end of 2022.

International resolutions related to the issue of Palestinian refugees:
The United Nations granted the issue of the Palestinian refugees a special legal status, in the light of which the Palestinian refugees enjoyed a special legal status that differs from the rest of the refugees around the world, through the numerous international resolutions that affirmed the legitimacy and right of the Palestinian refugees and displaced persons to return to their original homes and their legitimate right to struggle for return and self- determination. Among the most prominent of these resolutions:
• Resolution No. 194 of December 11, 1948, whose eleventh paragraph states that “the General Assembly of the United Nations affirms that 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.

• Resolution No. 302 of December 8,1948 related to the establishment of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestinian Refugees and granting it the mandate to provide relief and employment for Palestinian refugees until a just solution to their issue is found through their return to their homes from which they were expelled in 1948.

• Resolution No. 2535 of December 10, 1969, which is the first explicit resolution of the United Nations to recognize that the Palestinian refugees are a people, not just a mass of refugees and that the problem of the Palestinian refugees “has arisen because of the denial of their inalienable rights contained in the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.”

• Resolution No. 2649 of November 30, 1970 which made the question of Palestine a colonial issue and considered the struggle of its people for return and self-determination as a legitimate struggle against colonialism.

• Resolution 3236 of November 22, 1974 regarding the “inalienable rights of the Palestinian people”, in which the United Nations called for the Palestinian people to exercise their inalienable rights, including the right to self-determination without external interference, their right to independence and sovereignty and the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and properties from which they were displaced and uprooted.

• The Security Council has taken many resolutions that do justice to the refugees and stress the need for their safety and security, such as: Resolutions No. 262, 259, 258, and other resolutions whose content is a complete affirmation of the implementation of Resolution 237, which stipulates the return of the displaced and guarantees their safety and security.

The right of return in international law:

The legitimacy of the right of return for Palestinian refugees is mainly based on United Nations General Assembly Resolution 11/194 (III) following the Palestinian Nakba. The importance of the decision stems from the fact that it explicitly stipulates the need for the Palestinian refugees to return to their original homes and villages from which they were expelled, as a people who were expelled from their land, and who have the right to return as a people and not as a group of individuals affected by wars, as in many cases.

The aforementioned resolution did not only affirm the right of return, but also went further to find mechanisms to implement this right through the allowance of return of these refugees and compensation for material and moral losses. In addition, it established an international Agency for refugees’ relief until their return “UNRWA”, and established the UN Conciliation Commission for Palestine to carry out the task of facilitating their return and their economic and social rehabilitation. Resolution 194 is binding in international law and is reaffirmed annually.

General Assembly Resolution 181, obligated the Arab and Jewish states to grant their nationalities to the residents of each of them, regardless of their religion or race. However, with the establishment of the State of Israel and the adoption of the Israeli Nationality Law, the Palestinians were deprived of this right and all Palestinian refugees were deprived of their right to return to the newly established state.

The right of return is also based on international law of human rights and international humanitarian law and is enshrined in the majority of international and regional instruments. The most important of which are the Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949, the Indigenous and Tribal Peoples Convention of 1989, the Fourth Protocol to the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms of 1963, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights of 1966 and the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination of 1965.

The resolutions of the United Nations General Assembly linked the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and the right of return and made them closely related to each other.

The United Nations, in its regular session each year, continues to emphasize all the resolutions taken in previous years and they contain specific contents for the Palestinian refugees and their conditions. Perhaps the most prominent provision of these resolutions is the legitimacy and right of Palestinian refugees to return to their original homes. The last of these resolutions was issued by the General Assembly on December 14, 2022 and the vote in favor of the “Palestine refugees’ property and their revenues”. In addition to the resolution to renew the mandate of UNRWA for three new years to June 30, 2026 and a resolution to increase United Nations allocations to support the UNRWA budget and the resolution to support the right of the Palestinian people to self-determination and finally the resolution to commemorate the Nakba in the General Assembly Hall in New York on May 15 2023.
It is the first time that the 75th anniversary of the Nakba of the Palestinian people will be commemorated through the organization of a high-level event in the presence of the President of the State of Palestine, His Excellency President Mahmoud Abbas, which represents an international recognition of the Nakba of the Palestinian people and the great price incurred by them as a result of this ongoing tragedy.

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