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Home Press Releases 2008 Nakba Commemoration - 14 May, 2008

Nakba Commemoration - 14 May, 2008

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Nakba marches and commemoration in refugee camps near Bethlehem and Nablus.

Mass demonstration against the Occupation in Tulkarm

Events in Palestine

l Al-‘Awda Camp, Ramallah. Activities: The May 14th ‘Awda Camp activities will include: Distribution of educational materials on the Nakba to school students in the camp, daily film screening, forum on popular defence of the Right of Return. Final day of popular arts competitions (Dabkah, Zajal, Poetry, etc.) with participants representing Qaddura, Am'ari, Silwad, Jalazon, Shu'fat, and Qalandia camps as well as Dar Al-Mu'alimin (Teachers' Academy). Contact: Wajih Atallah, Union of Youth Activities Centers in the Refugee Camps, tel.: 0599-255584, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

l Commemoration march, Nablus. Demonstrators will march from Balata refugee camp to Askar camp, finishing by placing wreaths and flowers on the tombs of Iraqi army martyrs. Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

l Right of Return marathon run and festival, Bethlehem. The Right of Return marathon run will begin in Dheisheh refugee camp and end in Aida camp. Festival to follow in Aida where refugees will share their stories. Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

l Mass protest march, Tulkarm. March will be held in commemoration of the Nakba. Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

l Lecture and discussion, Jerusalem. Forum “the Arabic-Zoinist conflict: historical comparative” will be held in the Jadal Center for Culture and Social Development at 4:00 pm. Contact the Alternative Information Centre at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Events internationally

· International Conference: Freedom and the Right of Return, Palestine and 60 Years of Ethnic Cleansing in Jakarta, Indonesia. For more information: www.voiceofpalestine.net and www.suarapalestina.net

Report on previous events


In the village of Ni’lin, outside Ramallah, residents clashed with Occupation soldiers over plans to confiscate village land for the construction of the Wall. Four Palestinians were injured and one was arrested as villagers protested over the newest confiscation orders that take 2,500 dunums to make way for the Wall. See: http://stopthewall.org/latestnews/1649.shtml

On 8 May, Israeli police attacked the Nazareth-Safurrya Return March. Video footage is now available at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y-P4LI1ceGA

The Palestinian Nakba on the ground

On this day, 1948

· In the Acre district, the villages of al-Sumayriyya, al-Zib and al-Bassa were captured today, their inhabitants expelled. Al-Zib, which was a center of resistance, was shelled until the civilian population was forced out and then razed. In al-Bassa, many fled before Zionist forces arrived, although some stayed. According to Palestinian eyewitness accounts, Zionist soldiers forced those that stayed behind into the local church. The soldiers proceeded to execute a few of the younger people, than ordered those in the church to bury the bodies.
· Abu Shusha, located near al-Ramla, was occupied today. Zionist troops occupying the town carried out a massacre of the inhabitants. 60-70 people were murdered before the 21st of May, when the remaining villagers were expelled.

 

· Today, Yaffa fell to Zionist forces. Of the 70,000-80,000 Arabs that had called the city home, only 3,600-4,100 remained. The majority of Jaffa's inhabitants were pushed into the sea, forced to flee using boats and ending up in other Palestinian coastal cities like Gaza, or further in Egypt and Lebanon.

 

Nakba Today[Office 201]


Qassa, District of Al-Khalil (Hebron). On 29 October 2007, the Israeli army forcibly displaced the community of Qassa, a hamlet located between the Wall and the armnistice line (Green Line) in the southern Hebron district. People were violently and physically removed and dumped on the other side of the Wall. In total, close to 200 persons were displaced as well as 3,000 animals.

 

According to the Israeli army, Qassa residents were displaced because they were illegally present on the land. However, after being present in the area for some 40 years, residents, most of whom are 1948 refugees from Beit Jibrin, only received demolition and eviction orders after the Wall had constructed (May 2007). A second evacuation order was issued on 24 October, days before the opening of the new Tarqumiya checkpoint (terminal). The demolition and eviction occurred the day after the checkpoint became operational. During the eviction, Israeli officials said that the people of Qassa “live inside Israel”and “have to leave the Seam Zone.”

The Qassa community has thus been displaced by the Wall and its associated regime, which was found illegal by the International Court of Justice because it affects the demographic composition of the OPT and violates the right to self-determination of the Palestinian people.

Moreover, the land from which the inhabitants were displaced will likely be used to build an industrial park for Palestinians. Indeed, as part of the economic development plans announced by the international Quartet's Special Envoy Tony Blair construction is planned of an industrial park at the Tarqumiya checkpoint in the southern Hebron district. The construction of this industrial park, insofar as it enables Israel to maintain the restrictions on movement and access created by the construction of the Wall and it associated regime and annex land, would contravene the international court's ruling calling upon states to refrain from rendering aid or assistance that maintains the illegal situation created by the construction of the Wall and its associated regime.

Background Resources:

l For resources on the history of the Nakba, information about Palestinian refugees, and their right of return under international law, see the Nakba-60 Resources Info-Packet at:
http://www.badil.org/Publications/badil-nakba-60-info-packet/index.html

l For information about selected cases of ongoing diaplacement, please visit:
http://www.stopthewall.org/activistresources/1583.shtml

l For information, resources and links to organizations working on the growing campaign for Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions on Israel until it dismantles its military occupation's colonial apartheid system in the West Bank, Gaza and Golan Heights; ends systematic discrimination against its Palestinian citizens; and implements the Palestinian refugees' right to return to their homes and properties, please visit the website of the Boycott Divestment Sanctions Campaign National Committee (BNC): http://www.bdsmovement.net

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For more information, please contact:

Palestinian Grassroots Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-297-1505

Badil Centre for Palestinian Refugee & Residency Rights:
Email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it , Tel.: +972-2-277-7086

*The week’s events coordinated by the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba. The National Committee represents national movements and networks, including the Council of National and Islamic forces, the Global Palestine Right-of-Return Coalition, the Popular Committees and youth centers of the refugee camps all over Palestine, the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, Badil Center for Palestinian Residency and Refugee Rights, Palestinian NGO Network (PNGO), the Civic Coalition for the Defense of Palestinian Rights in Jerusalem and the PLO Department for Refugee Affairs (DORA).