Workers' Weekly On-Line
Volume 54 Number 11, May 18, 2024 ARCHIVE HOME JBCENTRE SUBSCRIBE

Anniversary of Al Nakba - May 15, 1948

End the Catastrophe Imposed on the Palestinian People!
Support Palestinian Resistance Until Liberation!

Palestinians participate in March of Return in Upper al-Jalil in the West Bank, May 14, 2024,
commemorating the 76th anniversary of the Israeli occupation of Palestine in 1948.

May 15 is the day we commemorate al Nakba -- the Catastrophe -- a day marking a "continuous journey of pain, loss and injustice" for the Palestinian people. It marks the day that some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes during the 1948 war. Palestinians were forced from their lands and homes due to military attacks by Zionist forces, supported by the British and US governments. The Israeli Zionist forces attacked 774 cities and villages, and occupied 80 per cent of the Palestinian soil after killing nearly 15,000 Muslim and Christian civilians. Those who survived were forced to migrate to the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and neighbouring countries, such as Syria, Jordan and Lebanon.

"The Road to Nowhere", painting depicting the Nakba by Palestinian artist Ismail Shammout

As we commemorate May 15, al Nakba Day, the world demands that the same crimes being committed today stop immediately. These crimes, committed 76 years ago and ever since then, set the scene for today's US/Israeli genocide.

As a result of the Nakba 76 years ago and crimes committed since then, out of the global population of 14 million Palestinians, more than seven million live in exile, while two million are being slaughtered in the Gaza Strip, the world's largest open-air prison, and another three million live in the occupied West Bank. Israeli occupation authorities are currently detaining some 9,500 Palestinians from Gaza and the West Bank being held in Israeli prisons, of which 3,660 are held in administrative detention - that is, without charge or trial. Of these, 80 are women and 200 are children. At the same point last year, about 4,900 Palestinian prisoners, including 160 children and 31 women were being held in Israeli prisons. Whereas 84 Palestinians had been killed by Israel by April 2023, by the same period in 2024, the death toll is in the tens of thousands. Since October 7, 2023, 35,173 Palestinians have been killed by Israel with at least another 10,000 missing. Of those killed, at least 14,500 are children. At least 60 per cent of residential buildings have been damaged or destroyed, while 80 per cent of commercial facilities have been damaged or destroyed. Two hundred and sixty-seven places of worship have been damaged or destroyed. Only 12 of 35 hospitals remain partially functional. Seventy-three per cent of school buildings have been damaged or destroyed, including all of Gaza's universities. Besides Israel's blocking of aid and use of starvation as a weapon of war against the people of Gaza, 83 per cent of Gaza's groundwater wells are not operational.

Palestine Solidarity, Istanbul, Turkey

On this occasion, the peoples all over the world condemn the US/Israeli Zionist crimes as well as the relentless expansion of illegal settlements that continue the dispossession of the Palestinians begun in 1948, the attacks on the al-Aqsa mosque, and the collective punishment of the Gaza Strip through a brutal genocidal war that is now targeting people's last refuge in Rafah.

We further condemn the British government, not only for arming Israel and giving the genocide a green light now, but also for Britain's historical role in its backing for Zionism and its heinous role in interfering in Palestine for its own ends. It was in November 1917 when Arthur Balfour, the British Foreign Secretary, issued his infamous declaration in the form of a letter written to Lord Rothschild, which read: "His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people. It being clearly understood that nothing shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine." This has been described as: "One nation promising a second the country of a third." The British Mandate period ran from 1920 to 1948, when the Nakba took place. The British ruling class must accept its responsibility for the denial of the rights of the Palestinian people, the partition of Palestine, and its complicity denying the Palestinians their right to self-determination and attacks on their right to be.

We salute the Palestinian people's unrelenting and heroic resistance and stand with them as the struggle for liberation enters a crucial phase.

We further call on everyone to continue to join in the actions which have been taking place across the country, adding the people's voice here to those across the globe condemning the crimes being committed against the Palestinian people which the world is witnessing and the violence and brutal attacks of the occupation forces. Today, May 18, a national demonstration is taking place through central London marking the 76th anniversary of the Nakba and calling for an end to the genocide and that the government stop arming Israel. We give it our full support.

Long Live the Palestinian Resistance!
Uphold the Palestinian People's Right of Return!

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