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News > Palestine

Palestinians Mark 76th Anniversary of Nakba

  • Pro-Palestine demonstration in Manchester, U.K., May 15, 2024.

    Pro-Palestine demonstration in Manchester, U.K., May 15, 2024. | Photo: X/ @ManPalestine

Published 16 May 2024

In 1948, Zionist forces attacked the Palestinian people, forcing them to leave their territory.

As the Palestinian-Israeli conflict enters its 222nd day on Wednesday, Palestinians marked the 76th anniversary of Nakba, the massive exodus of Palestinians that occurred in 1948 following the establishment of the state of Israel.


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In the West Bank city of Ramallah, thousands of Palestinians gathered to commemorate the Palestinian victims of 76 years ago and protest against the ongoing Israeli attacks on Gaza that have killed more than 35,000 Palestinians in the enclave.

Protestors waved Palestinian flags, held portraits of Palestinians who were expelled from their homes in 1948, displayed pictures of refugee camps in the Gaza Strip, and carried banners bearing slogans like "The Nakba is recurring in Gaza now."

Several Palestinian faction leaders and members of the Executive Committees of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) and the Central Committee of the Palestinian National Liberation Movement (Fatah) also attended the rally in Ramallah.

Mahmoud Al-Aloul, a senior Fatah official, said more than 1.9 million Palestinians in Gaza have been forced to leave their homes since the outbreak of the ongoing conflict, labeling it a "perhaps far more severe Nakba" (Arabic for catastrophe) compared to that of 1948.

He also accused the U.S. administration of being complicit in Israel's "crimes" in Gaza as it supplied weapons to Israel and vetoed UN resolutions that called for a ceasefire and supported full UN membership for Palestine.

For his part, Ahmed Abu Holi, the head of the refugee affairs department of the PLO, stressed the essential role of the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) and denounced the United States and the West for suspending UNRWA funding.

In January, Israeli officials claimed that employees from the UNRWA took part in the October 7 Hamas attack, which set off the current conflict in Gaza. The allegations remain unverified but prompted the United States and many other Western donors to halt the agency's funding.

Australia, Canada, Germany, and several other countries have resumed their funding, whereas the United States and Britain continue to hold back their funds.

"Our people need the UNRWA to continue its work in the Gaza Strip because it is the only institution capable of working there," Abu Holi said. 

In Gaza, local residents said there is no need to mark the Nakba anniversary because they are already living in one.

Mohammed al-Maqadma, a 58-year-old resident of Jabalia refugee camp, said that his parents, survivors of the Nakba 76 years ago, were killed in the recent Israeli strikes on Gaza.

"For the rest of their lives, my parents could not stop talking about their ordeal during Nakba. Now, for how many years will I speak about the new Nakba to our next generations?" al-Maqadma lamented.

Israel launched a large-scale offensive against Hamas in the Gaza Strip to retaliate against a Hamas rampage through the southern Israeli border on Oct. 7, 2023, during which about 1,200 people were killed and more than 200 were taken hostage.

So far, the Palestinian death toll from the ongoing Israeli attacks on the Gaza Strip has exceeded 35,000, according to the health authorities in Gaza.

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