Nakba, or Catastrophe, refers to when the Jewish militias ethnically cleansed Palestine, forcing approximately 750,000 Palestinians into exile because they were not Jewish and that their presence and predominant ownership of the land ‘presented obstacles to the creation of Israel.’
On 15 May every year, Palestinians around the world commemorate the Nakba to serve as a reminder of the historical tragedy that took place 66 years ago.
Marked by sombre ceremonies, cultural rites, and demonstrations, it is a day for learning and reflecting, and is an opportunity to recharge the souls, refocus the efforts, and underline our responsibility to future generations towards achieving the sole objective: a free Palestine.
Nakba did not only occur once. In fact, it has occurred on a daily basis since the initial incident in 1948.
The continuous ethnic cleansing of Palestine, the settlement project, and the Judaisation of the West Bank and Jerusalem, the ever-advancing Israeli bulldozers demolishing one Palestinian house after the other, the separation of families with the apartheid wall, the frequent invasion of Palestinian villages in the West Bank, the atrocious offensives on the Gaza Strip bombarding, killing and injuring hundreds of Palestinians, the administrative detention of Palestinians in the Israeli prisons, and the discriminatory policies that forbid the expansion of Palestinian houses are but a few examples of day-to-day Nakba the Palestinians endure.
The Palestinian leadership, represented by the Palestinian Authority governing the West Bank, and Hamas governing Gaza Strip, continuously fails the Palestinians, leaving them disappointed because of their clear collaboration with Israel.
The Palestinian Authority forces often function as the “other” face of Israel when detaining Palestinian freed prisoners and closing down offices and organisations, whereas Hamas forces attack protestors and journalists whenever they demonstrate by the buffer zone, the closest point between Palestinians in Gaza Strip and the occupied territories, the most recent incident when six journalists were attacked yesterday.
Palestinians in the diaspora, particularly those hosted by neighbouring countries, are often treated as second-class citizens deprived of some of their basic rights for decent living and suffer no less than the Palestinians who are currently living in Palestine.
Not so far away from the villages they were forcibly uprooted from, second and third generation Palestinians who live in refugee camps are living in conditions as bad as – if not worse than – their grandparents went through 66 years ago.
Many are systematically kidnapped, detained, and tortured to death, besieged and deliberately starved, leaving behind hundreds of dead. This left many others no choice but to seek refuge in other countries, making them two-time refugees surrounded by ghosts of death, in the shape of barrel bombs falling from the sky above their heads.
Zionists might have thought that ethnically cleansing and demolishing entire villages and cities, and building new ones on top of their ruins, would succeed in shearing them of their authentic human element and deeply-rooted culture, and wipe the memories of the widespread use of terror, and atrocity by Jewish militia against Palestinians.
While most of those who experienced such relentless attacks by the Jewish militia during the initial catastrophe have died, the annual commemoration of Nakba represents a reminder that we have not forgotten.
The old might have died, but the young will never forget.
The article was originally published on the International Business Times UK:http://www.ibtimes.co.uk/view-palestine-nakba-day-catastrophe-israeli-conquest-blog-1448922