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May 15 is the 70th Nakba Day, reflecting endless Palestinian suffering since 1948 – under a ruthless occupier since 1967.
A displaced Palestinian earlier shared his heart-rendering memories, saying:
“I cannot forget three horror-filled days in July of 1948. The pain sears my memory, and I cannot rid myself of it no matter how hard I try.”
“First, Israeli soldiers forced thousands of Palestinians from their homes near the Mediterranean coast, even though some families had lived in the same houses for centuries.”
“My family had been in the town of Lydda in Palestine at least 1,600 years. Then, without water, we stumbled into the hills and continued for three deadly days.”
“The Jewish soldiers followed, occasionally shooting over our heads to scare us and keep us moving. Terror filled my eleven-year-old mind as I wondered what would happen.”
“I remembered overhearing my father and his friends express alarm about recent massacres by Jewish terrorists. Would they kill us, too?”
“We did not know what to do, except to follow orders and stumble blindly up the rocky hills. I walked hand in hand with my grandfather, who carried our only remaining possessions-a small tin of sugar and some milk for my aunt’s two-year-old son, sick with typhoid.”
Survivors remember Deir Yassin. On April 9, 1948, Israeli soldiers entered the village violently -machine-gunned houses randomly, many inside slaughtered.
1948 Deir Yassin massacre (Source: IMEMC News)
Remaining villagers were rounded up and murdered in cold blood. Among them were children, infants, the elderly and women – first raped before killed. Around 120 Palestinians were massacred that day.
An eyewitness said
“I was (there) when the Jews attacked…(They) closed on the village amid exchanges of fire with us.”
“Once they entered the village, fighting became very heavy in the eastern side and later it spread to other parts, to the quarry, to the village center until it reached the western edge.”
“The Jews used all sorts of automatic weapons, tanks, missiles, cannons. They enter(ed) houses and kill(ed) women and children indiscriminately. The (village) youths…fought bravely.”
They were no match against brutality committed on them. Israeli high crimes continued from then to now.
Nakba survivors recall the horror of that time – Arabs shot in cold blood, women raped, other atrocities committed, hundreds of thousands displaced, hoping one day to return, they and descendants still waiting, enduring ruthless militarized occupation.
On Nakba day eve, the Global BDS movement for freedom, justice and equality in Occupied Palestine said the following:
On May 15, “Palestinians commemorate the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or ‘Catastrophe,’ marking the systematic mass expulsion of indigenous Palestinians from their homes to establish a Jewish-majority state.”
“In Gaza, where most Palestinians are refugees, thousands will participate in Great Return March demonstrations, calling for the right of refugees to return to the lands from which they were forcibly expelled.”
“These demonstrations are expected to be the largest since they began over seven weeks ago.”
“Between 1947 and 1949, Zionist paramilitaries, and then the Israeli military, made 750,000 to one million indigenous Palestinians into refugees, massacred Palestinian civilians, and destroyed hundreds of Palestinian communities.”
“Israel used force to prevent Palestinian families from returning to their homes, and continues to deny Palestinian refugees their UN-sanctioned right of return.”
“A key Palestinian demand, prominently expressed by demonstrators in Gaza…is for a comprehensive military embargo on Israel, similar to the one that was imposed on apartheid South Africa to end its egregious violations of human rights.”
Gaza-based community organizer/BDS National Committee member Abdulrahman Abunahel said the following:
“For us Palestinians, the Nakba is not just a crime of the past. It’s ongoing. It has never ended.”
“My grandparents were violently expelled from their village in 1948 and forced to live as refugees in the Gaza Strip.”
“Their beautiful village, called Barbara, is only 10 miles away. I can almost see it, but I have no way to reach it.”
“The ongoing Nakba is why I’ve grown up as a refugee living under Israeli military rule. It’s why I live in what many of us call a suffocating, open-air prison crammed with two million people, denied my basic rights, including freedom of movement.”
“Israel will not even allow me to leave Gaza temporarily to receive important medical care. My hardships are not exceptional. Tens of Palestinians died last year, just waiting for Israel to grant them permits to seek life-saving medical care outside Gaza, and thousands couldn’t make their medical appointments.”
“The ongoing Nakba is why I participate in the Great Return March and support the BDS movement.”
“I simply want the right to live in the land where I am from, in freedom, in peace and with dignity. I was born a refugee. I do not want to die as one.”
BDS co-founder Omar Barghouti (image on the right) said the following:
“The Trump administration’s decision to open the US embassy in Jerusalem as Palestinians commemorate 70 painful years of displacement signals that it’s giving Israel freer reign than ever to try to push us out of our homeland.”
“The Trump-Netanyahu far-right alliance is wreaking havoc in Palestine and, by extension, the world.”
“In Jerusalem, Israel has long destroyed Palestinian homes, revoked the right of the indigenous Palestinians to live in their city, and encouraged illegal Israeli settlers to evict Palestinian families and openly steal their homes.”
“The Trump administration is now not just an enabler, but also a full partner in Israel’s accelerating ethnic cleansing of Palestinians in Jerusalem and beyond.”
“Still, I have hope in popular, creative Palestinian resistance, now invigorated by the Great Return March.”
“I have hope because growing numbers of people around the world are seeing the connection between our struggle for freedom, justice and equality, and their own justice struggles.”
“This is why they are increasingly supporting the Palestinian-led BDS movement.”
“This growing international alliance of progressive communities working to defeat the hateful agenda of the far-right is what gives me hope that we can, and shall, eventually end the ongoing Nakba, end the ongoing destruction of Palestinian life, and create a better world for all.”
Millions of Palestinians are prisoners in their historic homeland – held hostage by Israeli viciousness, besieged Gazans suffering most of all.
Bloody Nakba Day Tuesday almost surely will follow bloody Monday, the worst carnage in Gaza since Israel’s summer 2014 aggression – 59 dead, around 2,700 injured, the death toll sure to rise.
The number of Gazan deaths since March 30 Great March of Return Friday is around 105 and rising, many thousands wounded, hundreds seriously, countless numbers with disabling injuries – the world community doing nothing to relieve the suffering of the Palestinian people.
Being Muslim under oppressive Jewish occupation is a horrendous cross no one should have to bear.
A May 14 White House statement called the opening of Washington’s embassy in Jerusalem a “milestone” – an intolerable millstone for long-suffering Palestinians.
Stephen Lendman is a Research Associate of the CRG, Correspondent of Global Research based in Chicago.