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The Nakba Day
News: On May 15, Palestinians around the world commemorate 75 years of having lost their homeland.
What does the Nakba mean?
The Arabic word Nakba means catastrophe or disaster. In reference to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict , the term Nakba or al-Nakba refers to the Palestinians having lost their homeland during and after the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
What is the Nakba Day?
May 15, 1948 was the beginning of the Arab-Israeli war and has long been a day that Palestinians take to the streets to protest against their displacement.
In the past, some protests have turned into violent clashes. Israel has accused Hamas and other organizations that are listed by the EU and other countries as terror organizations of using the day to further their causes.
The term Nakba Day was coined in 1998 by thenPalestinian leader Yasser Arafat. He set the date as the official day for the commemoration of the loss of the Palestinian homeland.
Why did Palestinians have to leave?
Until the end of World War I, Palestine was under Turkish rule as part of the Ottoman Empire.
It then fell under British control, the so-called Mandate for Palestine. During that period — which was marked by growing antisemitism in Europe — an increasing number of Jews from around the world moved there, to what they see as their ancestral homeland.
After the experience of the Holocaust in Nazi Germany, a United Nations Partition Plan for Palestine was adopted by the UN General Assembly. The Arab League rejected the plan, but the Jewish Agency for Palestine accepted. On May 14, 1948, the State of Israel was proclaimed.
As a reaction, a coalition of five Arab states declared war but was eventually defeated by Israel in 1949. Before the war, between 200,000 and 300,000 Palestinians had already left or been forced out and during the fighting, a further 300,000 to 400,000 Palestinians were displaced.
By the end of the war, Israel held around 40% of the area initially earmarked for the Palestinians by the UN partition plan of 1947.
Where did Palestinians go?
Most of the Palestinians ended up as stateless refugees in the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and neighboring Arab countries. Only a minority moved further abroad.
Until today, only a fraction of the next-generation Palestinians have applied for or received other citizenships.
Source – DW