After a series of failed Zionist efforts to usurp Palestine, British Secretary Balfour pledged British support for a “Jewish national home in Palestine” in 1917. By many, this is considered the beginning of Nakba (disaster) that befell the Palestinian people.
Thirty-one years after this declaration, the Zionist state was established after 3 decades of British fostering and nurturing. At the beginning of the British mandate, the number of Jews in Palestine was about 59,000 (9%) of the population.
By 1948, the number increased to 605,000 through immigration (aided by the Holocaust) from all over the world. But even at the time, this number constituted only 30% of the total population in Palestine. And they only controlled 7% of the total area of the land.
(Israel ) Found
The population balance in the new Zionist state was drastically altered during the 1948 war. The armistice agreements extended the territory under Zionist control beyond the UN partition boundaries from approximately 15,500 to 20,700 sq km (about 6,000 to 8,000 sq mi).
The small Gaza Strip on the Egypt-Israel border was left under Egyptian control, and the West Bank was controlled by Jordan. Of the more than 800,000 Arabs who had lived in Zionist-controlled territory before the war, only about 170,000 remained. The rest became refugees in the surrounding Arab countries, ending the Arab majority in the Zionist state. Today, the number of refugees is 6,000,000.
Palestinians won’t forget
Millions of Palestinians in the Diaspora mark the anniversary of the Nakba. Children, many of them descendants of the estimated 750,000 refugees expelled or forced to leave by Zionist forces in 1948, carry large keys symbolizing their clinging to the right of return to their former homes and villages. These homes have either been destroyed Zionist authorities or are inhabited by immigrants from around the world. In 1948, Zionist forces destroyed and ethnically-cleansed as many as 475 Palestinian towns and villages for the purpose of burying Palestinian history and memory forever.
Since 1948, the Palestinian issue has become an international issue. Many efforts were exerted to solve the struggle between the Palestinians and Zionists. But none succeeded in restoring the most basic human rights of the people expelled from their land. And till this day, Zionists continue to occupy, subjugate, and kill Palestinians daily.
The crimes such as Deir Yasin, Qibya, Sabra and Shatilla, Al-Ibrahimi mosque have become a familiar recurrence of suffering for Palestinians. But the issue remains alive through the hearts and souls of refugees unwilling to waive their basic human rights and through the bodies of brave people willing to sacrifice for the sake of their people.