Millions of Palestinians living as refugees across the world and their compatriots in the occupied territories observed the day of catastrophe (Nakba) on May 15 commemorating the violence and oppression unleashed on their ancestors by the Zionist militias in historic Palestine in 1948. Thousands of Palestinians marched in cities across the world announcing their conviction to return to their ancestral lands and create an independent Palestinian state.
The largest processions were taken out in Ramallah in the occupied West Bank and in the besieged Gaza city. Palestinians carried national flags and shouted slogans saying, “our return is inevitable,” “we will create Palestine in our lifetime” and “Al-Quds is the capital of Palestine”. These rallies were addressed by the leaders of different Palestinian resistance movements, including Hamas, Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) and Fatah.
The Zionist militias in historic Palestine killed thousands of Palestinians and forced over 700,000 of them to leave their land, homes and families behind in over 500 villages and towns. This ethnic cleansing of historic Palestine created one of the largest refugee groups in modern history with the broadest geographical expansion. Today, there are over seven million Palestinian refugees living in more than 50 countries across the world. The United Nations Relief and Work Agency (UNRAW) alone has registered over 6.2 million refugees living in the occupied West Bank and Gaza and neighboring countries of Jordan, Lebanon and Syria.
Though the UN General Assembly resolution 194 passed in 1948 recognizes Palestinian refugees’ right to return to their ancestral homes, the Israeli state even refuses to allow them to visit their relatives and restricts movement of Palestinians across the lands of historic Palestine.
This years’ Nakba was observed physically after a two-year gap due to COVID-19 restrictions. Rallies were held in London, Washington DC, New York city and other major places along with cities across West Asia.
In Germany, the government issued a ban on raising pro-Palestinian slogans and Palestinian flags during the Nakba rallies in Berlin and other places, leading to minor scuffles between the protesters and the police.
German police arrested Palestinian and pro-Palestinian activists commemorating Nakba day in the streets of Berlin, and prevented the raising of Palestinian flags and the wearing of the keffiyeh.
The police body searched some of the activists and harassed them. #Nakba74 pic.twitter.com/XCvsBoiccF
— PALESTINE ONLINE 🇵🇸 (@OnlinePalEng) May 16, 2022
This year’s Nakba was also observed amidst rising Israeli oppression of Palestinians in the occupied territories, which has killed more than 50 Palestinians this year.
Israeli forces killed Al-Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh last week when she was covering their raid on the Jenin refugee camp. The Israeli government has also increased its land grab in the occupied territories by displacing hundreds of Palestinians and building illegal settlements there. According to various sources, Israel today has direct control over 78% of all of historic Palestine and has illegally created over 200 settlements in the occupied territories where close to 700,000 illegal settlers live.