Days of Palestine – Gaza Strip
Seventy-three years ago, the state of Israel was born following the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians by Israeli forces.
What: The Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe)
When: 15 May 1948
On 14 May 1948, David Ben-Gurion, the executive head of the World Zionist Organisation, declared the establishment of the State of Israel. Israelis mark the event as their “Independence Day”.
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Ever since 15 May has been remembered internationally as Nakba Day.
Nakba Day commemorates the forced displacement of more than half the Palestinian population; 750,000 Palestinians were driven out of their homes and into refugee camps. The catastrophe later became the longest-running refugee crises in the modern era.
The day is also marked in Palestinian communities across the world in remembrance of the brutal end to three decades of struggle for Palestinian self-determination in historic Palestine. Their right to self-rule was denied first by the British and then quashed by a new Israeli state. Subscribing to the Zionist ideology, the Israeli state, with exclusive claims to the land for the Jewish people, was ideologically opposed to accommodating the vast majority of the inhabitants of Palestine.
In addition to the many hundreds of thousands of Palestinians that were forced into exile, over 600 Palestinian villages and towns were razed to the ground, in an effort to ensure Palestinians never returned to their homes.
Dozens of Palestinians are facing imminent dispossession from their homes in the occupied East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah, in what they say is a move to force them out and replace it entirely with a Jewish settlement.
The Jerusalem District Court ruled at least six families must vacate their homes in Sheikh Jarrah days ago, despite living there for generations.
The same court ruled seven other families should leave their homes by August 1. In total, 58 people, including 17 children, are set to be forcibly displaced to make way for Jewish settlers.
The court rulings are a culmination of a decades-long struggle for these Palestinians to stay in their homes. In 1972, several Jewish settler organisations filed a lawsuit against the Palestinian families living in Sheikh Jarrah, alleging the land originally belonged to Jews.
These groups, mostly funded by donors from the United States, have waged a relentless battle that resulted in the displacement of 43 Palestinians in 2002, as well as the Hanoun and Ghawi families in 2008 and the Shamasneh family in 2017
Gaza Strip has been subjected to an ethnic cleansing operation by the Israeli occupation forces since Monday, May 10, 2021, through indiscriminate shelling from its warplanes.
Palestinian medical officials said the Israeli airstrikes have killed at least 136 people in Gaza since Monday, including 34 children and 21 women, and wounded 950 others.
Israeli warplanes launched a series of air raids on various areas in the besieged enclave that started with fatal strikes in the northern city of Beit Hanun.
Palestinian resistance factions in Gaza had fired a barrage of rockets at Israeli targets earlier on Monday in retaliation to the Israeli attacks on the Aqsa Mosque and Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in Occupied East Jerusalem over the past few days.
Tensions have been running high in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood of East Jerusalem since last week after an Israeli court ordered the evictions of Palestinian families.
Palestinians protesting in solidarity with residents of Sheikh Jarrah have been targeted by Israeli forces.
Israel occupied East Jerusalem during the 1967 Arab-Israeli war and annexed the entire city in 1980 – a move that has never been recognized by the international community.