On Nakba Day, Palestinian Refugees Remain Uprooted
Tuesday May 15, 2012 12:03 by Saed Bannoura - IMEMC & Agencies
The Palestinians mark the Nakba Day on May 15; the day armed forces uprooted hundreds of thousands of Palestinians from their homes and lands, and destroyed their villages, killed and injured thousands of Palestinians before Israel was established in the historic land of Palestine in 1948.
Palestinian refugees are still hoping to return to their homeland, but they are still living in very difficult conditions in dozens of refugee camps in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Arab world.
Earlier on Tuesday, Israel said it intends to deploy thousands of soldiers and policemen all over the country, including in the West Bank and in occupied East Jerusalem.
Arab cities and towns in historic Palestine declared a general-strike, closing their stores, workshops, and even schools, to launch massive protests in various parts of the country.
A series of activities will be held at the Al-Lajoun destroyed village, near Um Al-Fahem city, north of the country.
Millions of refugees are still displaced in various refugee camps as Israel continues to deny their internationally-guaranteed Right of Return to their homeland.
There are more than 7 Million Palestinian refugees; 4.5 million Palestinians are eligible for UNRWA assistance and nearly % 80 of the refugees live outside of the 59 UNRWA refugee camps.
The word Nakba means catastrophe in Arabic, it is used to describe the destruction and depopulation of the Palestinian cities, villages and towns during the creation of Israel on the historic land of Palestine in 1948.
The Nakba was carried out starting in 1947 and ending in 1948 with the displacement of two-thirds of Palestinian population. Some reports indicate that at least half of the displaced Palestinians were uprooted from their homeland due to direct military assaults. Some fled their homes after the massacres against Dier Yassin and Tantura took place.
During the Nakba, more than 450 Palestinian towns and villages were completely destroyed to prevent the return of the indigenous Palestinian population, while a total of 530 villages were destroyed and/or depopulated, and Israel was established on %78 of the historic land of Palestine.
On December 11, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly, issued resolution number 194 calling of the Right of Return of all refugees. It also called, among various issue, for compensating the refugees for their losses and for their “economic and social rehabilitation.”
Similar to all related resolutions regarding the refugees’ rights, Israel’s withdrawal from Arab and Palestinian territories, consecutive Israeli government continued to ignore the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people.
Israel has been trying to prevent the Arabs and Palestinians from marking the Nakba day, the day Israel celebrates its establishment.
Last year, the Israeli Knesset issued the so-called “Nakba Law” preventing the Palestinians in the country from marking the Nakba day, and authorizing the Minister of Finance to cut, withhold, or reduce funding to government institutions that mark the Nakba day, under the pretext of “denying the existence of Israel.
The law was supported by 37 votes, while 25 opposed it; the “Law” further states that any government funded body in the country, and any public institute that marks the Nakba will be barred from funding as, according to the law, “by marking Nabka, these intuitions negate the existence of Israel as a state of the Jewish People”.
The law that passed by the Knesset was considered a “more moderate version” of the original law that was approved by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation in 2009, Israeli daily, Haaretz, reported.