What is Nakba and is Gaza heading towards second mass exodus?

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What is Nakba and is Gaza heading towards second mass exodus?. During the ongoing conflict in Gaza, Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas invoked the Nakba, Arabic for “catastrophe,” which refers to the 1948 displacement of Palestinians from their homes.

After the Israeli army evacuated more than one million people from north Gaza on Friday, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas warned against a “second Nakba.”

More than 423,000 people have already fled their homes in the long-blockaded territory of 2.4 million.

As the Israeli military razed more than 400 towns and villages in 1948, more than 760,000 Palestinians fled or were forced to leave their homes. Refugees spread across the region as a result of the exodus.

The following is some background information.

An exodus

After the Nazi genocide in World War II, the Jewish homeland demand led to the establishment of Israel in part of the former British Mandatory Palestine.

In 1948, Israel declared its independence formally, much to the joy of Jews, but to the anger of Arab nations, which immediately declared war on it.

Early in 1947, after a UN vote agreed on the division of Palestine, there had been a first wave of Palestinian departures. These were mainly public figures fleeing fighting between Jewish militias and Palestinians.

In April 1948, two Jewish paramilitary groups massacred more than 100 Palestinian villagers at Deir Yassin, near Jerusalem, accelerating the exodus.

Later, the Israeli army evicted Palestinians from newly controlled areas, including Lod, Ramle, and Galilee in the north.

Return rights

The UN adopted Resolution 194 in December 1948, granting Palestinians the right to return.

“Refugees who wish to return home and live at peace with their neighbours,” it stated, specifying that compensation should be given to those who do not reclaim their property.

Israel, however, categorically rejects this right, saying that even allowing a fraction of Palestinian refugees to return would spell the end of Israel.

When Israel was created in 1948, it adopted the Absentees Property Law, which placed under state guardianship all assets on Israeli territory belonging to Palestinians or Arabs who fled or moved abroad.

After Israel’s independence, it claims more than 850,000 Jews were forced from Arab countries.

In the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Jordan, Lebanon, and Syria, there are now 5.9 million Palestinian refugees.

Home is where the heart is

Palestinians still dream of returning 75 years after the exodus.

Israeli Arabs, descendants of Palestinians who remained on their land after 1948 and hold Israeli citizenship today, maintain these memories.

In refugee camps, rusty keys from houses that may no longer exist, or rumpled land deeds are symbols of this dream.

Every May 15, Palestinians mark the Nakba anniversary, which regularly sees deadly clashes between demonstrators and Israeli forces.

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