RAMALLAH, May 13, 2015 (WAFA) – In a massive protest march, thousands of Palestinians marched Wednesday to late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat’s square in Ramallah to commemorate the 67thanniversary of the Nakba that befell the Palestinian people in 1948.
The Nakba, an Arabic word for ‘catastrophe’, is the term given to the forced displacement or expulsion of some 800,000 Palestinian refugees before, during and since the creation of the state of Israel.
Marked by Palestinians throughout the world every May 15th, the Nakba represents a historic injustice, where approximately 800,000 Palestinians or 67% of the Palestinian people by 1948, became refugees and approximately 418 Palestinian villages were depopulated and/or destroyed, said PLO Negotiations Affairs Department.
The events featured speeches delivered by key Palestinian officials, in addition to national musical performances by Palestinian traditional troupes. Protestors with Palestinian Keffiyeh draped around their shoulders hung up big banners stressing the Palestinian refugees’ internationally-recognized right to return to their homes they were expelled from and condemning the Nakba. Similar events were organized across the West Bank districts.
These events came a week after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu formed his coalition government which includes ministers who are honest about their racist and genocidal tendencies against the Palestinian people.
The newly-nominated Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked has called for murdering Palestinian mothers so that they do not bring out more ‘snakes’. Similarly, the Head of the Israeli ‘Civil Administration’ Ben Dahan has openly supported ethnic cleansing and genocide.
In a press release, the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) affirmed that having this new racist right-wing Israeli government formed, any call for the resumption of negotiations would be meaningless unless a deadline is set not for completing the negotiations, but for ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territories that started in 1967.
The PLO slammed the Nakba as ‘the most heinous modern crime against humanity’ that the Zionist gangs perpetrated in an attempt to obliterate the existence of the Palestinian people and establish their entity by means of murder and intimidation.
“Over the last 67 years, Israel has been inflicting a Nakba ‘catastrophe’ upon the Palestinian people utilizing the same terrorist mentality that paved the way to its creation at the expense of the political rights of the Palestinian people, including the right to self-determination on the land of our forefathers,” the PLO said in the press release.
Meanwhile, Badil Resource Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights said, “The Nakba fundamentally altered Palestine. However the idea of forcible displacement of the indigenous Palestinian people did not end with the establishment of Israel in 1948, it rather started that year.”
“Since the Nakba almost every passing year has witnessed a wave of forcible displacement, whereby in some years the wave is higher than in others. So for instance during the year 1967, another 400,000 Palestinian became refugees,” added the center.
It stressed that, “Forced population transfer is illegal and has constituted an international crime since the Allied Resolution on German War Crimes, adopted in 1942. The strongest and most recent codification of the crime is found in the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court, which clearly defines forcible transfer of population and implantation of settlers as war crimes.”