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Home Press Releases 2008 Palestinians Remember the Nakba (8 - 15 May: “No Alternative but Return”)

Palestinians Remember the Nakba (8 - 15 May: “No Alternative but Return”)

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· Mass demonstrations planned across Palestine for 15 May to commemorate sixty years of exile and dispossession.

· Cultural and sporting events, talks and testimonials, mass demonstrations in the cities, towns and refugee camps from 8 – 15 May.

· Solidarity actions across the globe to demand the restoration of Palestinian rights.

15 May is Nakba Day, commemorating the expulsion of 750,000 Palestinians expelled from their country in 1948.

“After 6 decades of forced displacement, dispossession, suffering and bloody aggression against the Palestinian people the Nakba continues. A new and even more tragic and threatening chapter has now started: the apartheid regime that the occupation state tries to force upon our people and through which it aims to expel those Palestinians still steadfast on our land to annihilate our struggle.”

- The National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba

 


Information on the Nakba and the week’s events
Nakba Commemoration –
8 May, 2008
 

Events in Palestine
Events internationally
Full program of the Week
Nakba on the ground
On this day, 1948
Nakba Today
Background Resources

 

There will be a daily update from BADIL and the Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign on behalf of the National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba.

For more information on the programme 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

 


Organisers

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).

 

Nakba Commemoration - 8 May, 2008
8 May will be celebrated by Israel as its Independence Day according to the Hebrew Calendar. On this day, Palestinians around the world will say
“The day of their independence is the day of our Nakba (Catastrophe)”

 

Events in Palestine

· Recommended media event: March of Return. Inside 1948 Palestine (Israel), Internally displaced Palestinians to March from Nazareth to Saffuriyya, (one of the 531 towns and villages depopulated and destroyed during the Nakba) calling for the implementation of their Right of Return. Organized by the Association for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced (ADRID).Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ; fax. +972-4-646-8241, tel. +972-4-600-1765

· General strike across the country from 12:00-13:00. Demonstrations and protests will take place in all districts. 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 Opening of Al-Awda Camp, Ramallah. Hosting a number of cultural events including: performances of dabka, readings of different types of poetry, and the opening a gallery that will focus on Palestinian heritage and refugees. Contact: Jamal Juma’, The Anti-Apartheid Wall Campaign, tel.: 0599 119166, mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

· Nakba-60 Open Studio. Live 11-hour broadcast (fro m12pm-11pm) of the Return March, Awda Camp, and interviews from Gaza, Jerusalem, Nazareth, Ramallah, Beirut, Damascus, Amman and Cairo; as well as announcement of the Boycott, Divestment Sanction (BDS) National Committee. The Nakba-60 Open Studio will be broadcast on the Palestine Space Channel, and most local Palestinian stations; parts of it will also be carried by other Arab satelite stations. Organized by Badil in & the Ma'an News Network. Contact This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Events internationally

· London, UK: Ila Haifa: an adaptation of Ghassan Kanafani’s Returning to Haifa by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and al-Zaytouna Dabka Group. Visit: www.palestinecampaign.org.

l ‘Ain al-Hilweh refugee camp in Lebanon, Right of Return Amateur Documentary Film Festival will be held.

· Toronto, Canada. Nakba-60 Press Conference, Nakba survivors recount their experiences. Speakers include Palestinian refugees and community supporters. Organised by Palestine House, This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

· Vienna, Austria, Jewish Voice for Just Peace in the Middle East (Austria) commemorates the Nakba, the forced displacement of the Palestinians by the Haganah, 1948 - 6:30 p.m. at the Afro-Asiatisches Institut, Tuerkenstr. 3, 1090 Vienna. Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

· Giffnock, Scotland, Protest Celebrations of Ethnic Cleansing, 6:00 p.m. at main entrance to Eastwood Park, Giffnock. Contact: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Full Action Program available at badil.org, Palestine action listing at stopthewall.org

 

 

 

The Palestinian Nakba on the ground

 

On this day in 1948

 

The 1948 Palestine Post reported that a Zionist militia, Haganah, had invaded a village near Wadi Ara, south east of Haifa, destroying forty homes.

 

In Ramla district, in the geographical centre of Palestine, over 1,200 were expelled from the village of Qatra. Zionist militias had occupied the village on the 6th May.

 

Throughout early May, ethnic cleansing operations continued, concentrated mainly between Jerusalem and Tel Aviv and around Galilee. On the 6th the village of Akir, on the road between Jerusalem and Yafo had been occupied. Its inhabitants were expelled. By 1949, Time Magazine was reporting: “Today Akir is a community of 300 Jewish families from Bulgaria, Poland, Rumania and Yemen. These new inhabitants have moved in to stay.”

 

In Galilee, two platoons from the Palmach had entered the Galilean village of ‘Ayn al-Zaytoun on May 1st in the early hours of the morning under cover of mortar fire. Testimonies given in 1973 described how the villagers were rounded up, the men were taken and the rest were humiliated and expelled, shots fired over their heads. The men were later released, apart from 37 who were selected at random. Historians have suggested that they were probably among the 70 people massacred on the orders of Moshe Kelman, commander of the Palmach. The villagers made several attempts to return over the next few days but were driven away by militiamen, who continued to occupy the town. The homes burned or blown up by sappers on 2nd 3rd May.


Nakba Today: Al-Wallajeh

On 21 October 1948, nearly all the homes of Wallajeh, located in the district of Jerusalem, were demolished by the Israeli army. Most of the residents were forced to flee to refugee camps in the West Bank and Jordan, where they number 12,500 today. More than two-thirds of the village lands were annexed to Israel, inaccessible to the villagers themselves.
 

Between the wars of 1948 and 1967, many of the villagers had set up temporary housing, living in caves or makeshift structures until, realising that it may take a long time before they would be allowed to return, they rebuilt homes on the village lands that had remained in the West Bank under Jordanian rule. Today large parts of those lands are confiscated for colonization. The houses on the remaining 3,000 or so dunums of Wallajeh are under constant threat of demolition; 50 homes have already been destroyed by Israeli authorities, and 86 cases of demolition orders are currently being examined by the Israeli courts. The small Palestinian community is now completely encircled by Jewish settlements and the Wall, enabling the Israeli army to imprison its residents simply by closing down the one remaining access road.

 

Read more about this story of the ongoing Nakba, see: http://www.badil.org/Publications/badil-nakba-60-info-packet/packet/press-brochure.pdf

 

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: http://www.bdsmovement.net

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For more infomation, 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