Nakba day, marking the anniversary of Israeli occupation of Palestine, happens to be fueling the fresh tensions in Palestinian territories.
Tensions in Palestinian territories were further fueled on Saturday, when the Palestinians also commemorated Nakba Day. Nakba marks the exodus of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians following the declaration of independence by Israel in 1948.
The sixth day of the new round of military conflicts between Palestine and Israel synchronized with the day Palestinian call a historic day of Nakba, meaning “catastrophe”. During the past six day, Gaza registered the highest number of victims with at least 139 dead and more than 500 wounded. West Bank and Palestine has dozens of victims too.
Demonstrators took to street on Friday and Saturday in the West Bank to protest the recent violent movements by the Israeli army against civilians.
Nakba is a pivotal moment in contemporary Middle Eastern history that has come to characterise the Israeli-Palestinian war. It started in late 1947 and early 1948, when the modern Israeli state was formed, and was also known as “The Catastrophe.”
The day was the product of the UN and western powers realigning the Middle East’s boundaries after World War II in 1948, when Palestine was partitioned by force. Many claim, though, that the proposal failed to cater for the population then.
Moshe Dayan, Yitzhak Rabin, and Ariel Sharon were among the most renowned and influential parliament members who provided the strategy to monitor the new territory’s boundaries. The same names are to be known as the future leaders of the land.
Millions of Palestinians were killed or forcibly displaced from their homes and villages by Jewish militia forces in the weeks and months that followed. Palestinian gangs murdered Jews as well, but by no means in the same numbers.
A major part of Palestinian people who were forced to flee or were expelled from their homes never returned to their homeland, part of which is now called Israel. 73 years later, their descendants, amounting for millions, now live in hundreds of refugee camps across the West Bank, Gaza, and adjacent countries.
The Palestinians did not have a specific day set aside to mark and condemn the incidents, but many did so on Israel’s Independence Day until 1998.
As Israel arranged lavish ceremonies for its 50th anniversary in 1998, Yasir Arafat, the president of the Palestinian Authority, decreed that Palestinians should specify a day for commemoration of the long years of treason and violence. May 15, the day after Israel’s independence declaration in 1948 was singled out.
The United Nations Relief and Works Agency, founded to support Palestinian refugees, currently offers assistance to more than 5.7 million Palestinians. These homeless groups live in Israeli camps in occupied territories and elsewhere in the region and are still in need for more assistance after seven decades.
Palestinian calendar marks Nakba Day as a significant commemorative date. It is commemorated on the 15th of May, the anniversary of Israel’s declaration of independence. Some Palestinians also mark it on the anniversary of Israel’s self-claimed independence, which varies from year to year.
On Saturday, demonstrators from across the world joined Palestinian people in the Gaza, West Bank, and East Jerusalem in protesting against Israeli practices of suppression and violence. Israel opened the war on Palestinian worshippers at Al-Aqsa mosque, but it cannot end the hostility as Palestinian resistance movement was awakened as a result of the tensions.
People across North America and Europe take to streets, social media and online petitions to voice support for Palestinians currently under heavy artillery of Israeli troops.