Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Palestinians Commemorate 76 years of Nakba

Tue 14 May 2024 | 02:49 PM
Ahmed Emam

On Wednesday, Palestinians will commemorate the 76th year of their mass expulsion from what is now Israel, an event that is at the core of their national struggle. However, in many ways, that experience pales in comparison to the calamity now unfolding in Gaza.

Palestinians refer to it as the "Nakba," which is Arabic for "catastrophe." Some 700,000 Palestinians, a majority of the prewar population, fled or were driven from their homes before and during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war that followed Israel's establishment.

After the war, Israel refused to allow them to return because it would have resulted in a Palestinian majority within its borders. Instead, they became a seemingly permanent refugee community that now numbers some 6 million. Most of them live in slum-like urban refugee camps in Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

Palestinian students at Tel Aviv University have said that Israeli authorities refused to grant them a permit to commemorate the 76th anniversary of the Nakba later this month.

They revealed that their application for a license to hold the commemoration was denied by the police under "false pretexts," including the claim of an "inability to protect the ceremony from extremist demonstrations".

In a statement, the Student Front at Tel Aviv University accused the "Ben-Gvir police of continuing their fascist policy and supporting extremists at the expense of human rights like freedom of expression and demonstration."

The Front also criticized the university administration for its silence in the face of what they call "fascist intimidation".