On Saturday afternoon hundreds of Palestinians came together to commemorate the Nakba (the ‘catastrophe’ in English), riding bikes from Sebastiya village in the north to Mas’oudia Park to symbolise their inalienable right of return to their homes. Joined by members of SFP, refugees across the northern West Bank commemorated the Nakba in a festival held at the park.
The 15 May is commemorated every year by Palestinians around the world marking their forced expulsion from their homes by Zionist militia in what is currently the Apartheid State of Israel. Some 750,000 Palestinians were forcible expelled from their homes, and many who stayed were massacred in terrorist attacks by Zionist forces such as that on the village of Deir Yassin where over one hundred villagers were massacred. The refugees and their descendants now number more than 6 million, many living in poor conditions in refugee camps across Palestine and the Arab world, waiting to return home.
On the 11 December 1948 the UN General Assembly recognised the refugees right to return in Article 11 of Resolution 194, which states:
Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbours should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible.
This was reaffirmed by the UN General Assembly Resolution 3236 on 22 November 1974, which declared the right of return to be an “inalienable right”. Both Resolutions 194 and the latter 242 (“achieving a just settlement of the refugee problem”), along with international and humanitarian law, have been repeatedly reinstated by the UN.
Apartheid Israel and its supporters continue to deny the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and the Nakba that started in 1948 continues to this day, as Apartheid Israel implements a discriminatory policy to force remaining Palestinians from their land.
SFP will continue the struggle until all refugees are able to go home. We ask people around the world to join that struggle and abide by the request for boycott, divestment and sanctions against Apartheid Israel. To find out how to boycott please click here.