Saturday, 7 June 2014

From the 1948 Nakba to the 1967 Naksa

Live From Occupied Palestine

Dear friends,

Today, June 5, marks the 47th anniversary of the Naksa (Arabic for setback/calamity). In 1967, Israel invaded Syrian, Egyptian and Jordanian controlled territories seizing the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights. For the Palestinian people, the June 1967 war and subsequent occupation of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem resulted in Israel's illegl military occupation of what was left of their historic homeland. After the 1948 Al Nakba (the catastrophe), the 1967 Naksa (the setback/calamity) it is the single most important objective factor that defines the Palestinian people's struggle for self-determination, freedom and justice.

In 1967 more than 400,000 Palestinians were expelled by Israel from their land, marking the second expulsion of Palestinians from their homeland since 1948 when more than 750,000 Palestinians were forcibly expelled to neighbouring Arab countries by Zionist terror militias and 150,000 Palestinians became internally displaced inside the newly established Israeli state. It took Israel less than one week to forcibly displace Palestinians for the second time, with ninety-five percent of Palestinians fleeing to Jordan. A small number also fled to Lebanon and Syria.

I have included below photos from the 1967, as well as an extract from a 2004 bulletin issued by Badil, the Resource Center for Palestinian Residency & Refuge which gives a very good overview of the Naksa and its impact on Palestinian society.

I am also posting a link to an article I posted up a year ago about Israel's razing and ethnic cleansing of the Mughrabi neighourhood in 1967, which took place within days of Israel seizing control of Occupied East Jerusalem.  The Mughrabi neighbourhood was ethnically cleansed in order to build the plaza which now stands in front of the Western Wall. 

The article by Ben Lynefield originally appeared in the American Jewish Forward. In the article Lynfield notes that the destruction fo the Mughrabi neighbourhood “is an event either unknown or repressed by most Israelis and Jews who visit the Kotel. It is deleted from public discourse about the Old City". Lynefield's article offers some valuable information on the razing of the neighbourhood within days of Israel seizing and occuping East Jerusalem and the ethnic cleansing of up to 1000 or more Palestinians from their homes.

You can read his article by clicking here.

For an overview and facts on the 1967 war, see the Institute for Middle East Understanding's FAQ sheet (please click here).

in solidarity,

Al Naksa in Photos:

 Israeli military arrest Palestinians suspected of being members of Fatah

 Palestinians arrested by Israeli military forces

 Israeli soldier watch as Palestinian refugees flee across the Allenby Bridge into Jordan

A Palestinian girl carrying her sister as they prepare to cross the Allenby Bridge

 Palestinians refugees flee across the bombed out Allenby Bridge at the River Jordan into Jordan

Palestinian refugees flee across bombed out Allenby Bridge

Israel razes hundreds of Palestinian homes immediately after seizing East Jerusalem leaving thousands homeless 

Within days of seizing East Jerusalem, Israeli razes Palestinian homes, ethnically cleansing thousnad of Palestinians in order to build the Western Wall plaza


From the 1948 Nakba to the 1967 Naksa
Extract from BADIL Occasional Bulletin No. 18, June 2004 (to read the bulletin in full, please click here)

[Clipped section – Prelude to Al Naksa] 

During the second Arab-Israeli war in June 1967 some 400,000 Palestinians were displaced. Half of them were refugees who had been displaced from the part of Palestine that became Israel during the 1948 war. This second displacement took less than a week. Ninety-five per cent fled to Jordan and small numbers to Lebanon and Syria. About one million Palestinians remained in the West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza.

As in the 1948 Nakba, most refugees were displaced by Israeli military forces using tactics violating basic principles of international humanitarian and human rights law: attacks on civilians, massacres and other atrocities; expulsion; and destruction and looting of property. In Jerusalem, Israeli forces rounded up Palestinian men, forced them onto buses and sent them to Jordan. Some were beaten and then forced to sign papers saying they left voluntarily. At the border, refugees trying to return were shot at. 

Scope of Displacement

The Naksa altered the landscape of Palestine once again. About 1.4 million Palestinians lived in West Bank, eastern Jerusalem, and Gaza on the eve of the 1967 war between Israel and neighboring Arab states. Until then, the majority of Palestinians living in the central (except the Jerusalem district) and eastern interior of mandatory Palestine had escaped the largescale displacement and dispossession of Palestinians living in other areas of the country. This included Nablus and Ramallah districts and portions of Jenin, Tulkarem, Hebron, Jerusalem and Gaza districts.

More than a third of the Palestinian population of West Bank and Gaza was displaced during the war. By the end of 1967 the proportion of the indigenous Palestinian population outside its homeland had more than doubled. Nearly half of all Palestinians were now living in exile. Seven villages in West Bank, several refugee camps in the Jericho area, half of the city of Qalqilya, and the Moroccan quarter of Jerusalem’s Old City were destroyed. Depopulated and destroyed villages included Imwas, Yalu and Beit Nuba in the Latrun salient west of Jerusalem, and the villages of Beit Marsam, Beit Awa, Jiftlik, and al-Burj. In the period immediately after the 1967 war, Palestinian ownership and control of land fell by nearly 15 per cent in these areas 

Denationalized and Dispossessed

In September 1967 Israel conducted a census in West Bank, eastern Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. Only Palestinians (and their offspring) registered in the census were considered by Israel to be legal residents of the occupied territories. It is estimated that 60,000 West Bank Palestinians were abroad at the time of the war and so were not included in the census nor were up to 30,000 Palestinian residents of Jerusalem. Administrative measure effectively prevented Palestinians abroad at the time of the war and Palestinian refugees displaced during the war from returning to their homes.

Israeli legislation and military orders in the West Bank and Gaza Strip applied many of the same property laws already in effect inside Israel. Military Order No. 58 Concerning

Abandoned Property (Private Property) enabled the government to acquire control of refugee properties in the West Bank. Unlike the 1950 Absentees’ Property Law applicable in Israel, the military order for West Bank has no time restrictions and thus enables Israel to continue to apply the Order subsequent to the original displacement of Palestinians from the occupied territories in 1967. Israel took control of state land under Military Order No. 59, Concerning Government Properties.

Israel did not apply these same military orders to eastern Jerusalem. Instead, it applied its own domestic law, under the 1968 Legal and Administrative Matters (Regulations) Law. This law also established procedures for Jews to reclaim lost property in eastern Jerusalem after the 1948 war. Under the same law Palestinian residents of eastern Jerusalem were exempt from the 1950 Absentees’ Property Law; however, Palestinians living in eastern Jerusalem who lost properties in western Jerusalem or other areas inside Israel in 1948 were still considered as absentees in regard to their property in these other areas. 

International Response

In June 1967 the United Nations Security Council adopted Resolution 237 calling on Israel to ensure the safety, welfare and security of the inhabitants of areas where military operations took place and facilitate the return of those inhabitants who had fled the areas since the outbreak of hostilities. This resolution is reaffirmed annually by the General Assembly. Several months later the Security Council adopted Resolution 242 calling for a just settlement of the refugee problem. In July 1967 the General Assembly also requested the UN Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), established in the aftermath of the 1948 war, to extend emergency relief and assistance to Palestinian refugees displaced in 1967.

[clipped section]

Since the Palestinian-Israeli conflict began, the UN Security Council has passed more than 200 resolutions on the subject but the trail of unimplemented resolutions is long. They include Israel’s failure to: rescind measures changing the status of Jerusalem; stop deporting Palestinians from the occupied territories; and abide by obligations and responsibilities in the 4th Geneva Convention. General Assembly Res. 194 on the right of return of 1948 refugees has not been enforced nor have Security Council Resolutions 237 and 242 on the return of 1967 refugees and withdrawal of Israeli forces from the occupied territories. Resolutions calling on Israel to comply with international law have been vetoed more than 50 times by the United States.

[clipped section]
River to Sea Uprooted Palestinian   
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