Israeli troops established the State of Israel on May 14, 1948, as soon as the British Mandate expired, after securing the support of the British government for the foundation of a Jewish state in Palestine. This triggered the first Arab-Israeli war.
At least 750,000 Palestinians were displaced from their homes and lands by Israeli military troops, who conquered 78 percent of historic Palestine. The remaining 22% was split between what is today the occupied West Bank and the beleaguered Gaza Strip.
The most frequent depiction of Israel’s founding is that it was founded by the United Nations, and that the world was in favour of this move, and that the U.S. governmental establishment supported it. All these assumptions are demonstrably incorrect.
In truth, while the United Nations General Assembly supported the establishment of a Jewish state in a portion of Palestine, the resolution was non-binding and the Security Council never acted on it.
Second, the General Assembly only passed that recommendation after proponents of Israel threatened and bribed a number of countries to get the needed two-thirds majority of votes.
Third, the US administration backed the plan for of domestic political considerations, despite the State Department, the CIA, and the Pentagon’s strong opposition.
It was via armed aggression and the ethnic cleansing of at least three-quarters of a million indigenous Palestinians that the Jewish state was established on land that was 95 percent non-Jewish previous to Zionist immigration and remained 70 percent non-Jewish even after years of immigration. Israel was founded over the opposition of American experts and governments around the world, who opposed it on both pragmatic and moral grounds, despite the superficial veneer of legitimacy its supporters won from the General Assembly.
On April 9, 1948, Zionist soldiers carried out one of the war’s most notorious killings in Deir Yassin, a village on the western outskirts of Jerusalem. More than 110 men, women and children were killed by members of the pre-Israeli-state Irgun and Stern Gang Zionist militias.
There are some six million registered Palestinian refugees living in at least 58 camps located throughout Palestine and neighbouring countries.
For at least 2.3 million Palestinian refugees in Jordan, 1.5 million in Gaza, 870,000 in the occupied West Bank, 570,00 in Syria, and 480,000 in Lebanon, the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA) provides assistance and operates hundreds of schools and health facilities.
Baqa’a in Jordan, Jabalia in Gaza, Jenin in the occupied West Bank, Yarmouk in Syria, and Eand in El Hilweh in Lebanon are the largest camps in each country.
More than 70% of Gaza’s population is made up of refugees. In the Gaza Strip, over 1.5 million refugees live in eight refugee camps.
Refugees have the right under international law to return to their homes and property after being forcibly removed. Many Palestinians still desire to return to their homeland.
The predicament of Palestinian refugees is the world’s longest-running refugee crisis.
Israel’s military rule over Palestinians impacts every area of their lives, from what services they may use and where they can go to who they can marry and where they can live.
Human Rights Watch (HRW), a leading international NGO, claims that Israel is “committing the crimes against humanity of apartheid and persecution against Palestinians.”
Hundreds of Palestinian homes are demolished every year by Israel. According to data compiled by OCHA, between 2009 and 2022, at least 8,413 Palestinian-owned structures were demolished by Israeli forces, displacing at least 12,491 people.
International law prohibits forcible relocation. The majority of these structures (79%) are in Israeli-controlled Area C of the occupied West Bank. In occupied East Jerusalem, 20% of these structures are located.
In addition, Israel keeps 4,450 Palestinians in prisons, including 160 minors, 32 women, and 530 administrative prisoners.
Every year on April 17, Palestinian Prisoner’s Day is observed to raise awareness of the situation of those imprisoned in Israeli jails and their fight for liberation against the Israeli occupation.
Since 2007, Israel has imposed a naval and air blockade on the Gaza Strip. Israel has conducted four wars on Palestinian land since 2008, killing over 4,000 people.
The Gaza Strip, on the Mediterranean coast, is around 365 square kilometres (141 square miles), about the same size as Cape Town, Detroit, or Lucknow. It is one of the world’s most densely populated locations, and has been dubbed “the world’s largest open-air prison” due to Israel’s continued occupation.
According to the United Nations, Israeli troops killed 261 Palestinians, including 67 children, in their most recent assault of Gaza, which lasted from May 10 to May 21, 2021.
For Palestinians, the Nakba is a never-ending process of displacement rather than a historical event.