On May 15, the Palestinian people in all corners of the world remember Al-Nakba, which is the Israeli occupation of their lands in 1948, by commemorating it through popular activities they carry out wherever they live throughout the world to express their perseverance to reclaim their right to return to their homes from which they were forcibly displaced in 1948.

“Al-Nakba” is a term used by the Syrian historian Constantine Zureiq to describe the state that represents the Arab countries’ acceptance of the truce، as he expressively wrote:

“This is a catastrophe in the full sense of the word.” Since then, it has become the term by which Palestinians refer to the day in which the establishment of the Israeli state was announced on 78% of the lands of Palestine on May 15, 1948.

Al-Nakba at that time constituted a process of ethnic cleansing in which approximately 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly displaced, out of the total population of Palestine at the time (1.4 million), to the West Bank, Gaza Strip and neighboring Arab countries.

At that time, the Israeli gangs occupied and established on the ruins of 531 out of 774 Palestinian villages and cities, a state on 78 percent of the area of historical Palestine, which amounts to approximately 27 thousand square kilometers. The newly established state stood at its birth in violation of international law and the United Nations resolution 181 and by committing more than 70 massacres against the Palestinians, in which nearly 15 thousand Palestinians and about 3500 thousand of the Arab who came to champion the Palestinians were martyred.

Despite the destruction, killing, and displacement during 1948, about 150,000 Palestinians remained in Palestinian cities and villages, in the lands occupied by Israel in 1948, and contrary to what Israel wants, the numbers of Palestinians multiplied despite all the arbitrary measures practiced by the occupation with regard to prejudiced regulatory laws, building permits, and social rights. By 2024, after 76 from Al-Nakba, the Palestinian population in Israel today stands at more than 2.1 million, 21.1% of the entire po0pulation. Still growing.

The following is a summary of the Palestinian reality 76 years after the Al-Nakba:

  • The total number of Palestinians in the world counts for 14.6 million people, as of 2024, of whom 7.6 million Palestinians (52%) live in the land of Palestine, 3.2 million in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, 2.3 million in the Gaza Strip, and 2.1 million inside Israel,
  • The number of Palestinian refugees, according to the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA), exceeded 6.4 million refugees, distributed in 58 official camps in the Arab regions and Palestine, including 2.1 million in 19 camps in the West Bank, and 8 camps in the Gaza Strip,
  • The number of Palestinian and Arab martyrs since the Nakba in 1948 until today has reached more than 134 thousand martyrs, including more than 35 thousand martyrs during the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip from October 2023 until the beginning of May 2024,
  • The number of Palestinian prisoners held by the Israeli occupation as of February 2024 reached more than 9,100 prisoners. Since 1967, the Israeli occupation imprisoned more than a million Palestinians, including 25 prisoners incarcerated for more than 25 years for various life sentences.

The Israeli occupation in the occupied Palestinian Territory:

  • The number of Israeli settlement sites is 199, occupying 545 square kilometers, including 18 settlements in occupied East Jerusalem.
  • The number of Israeli settlement outpost locations is 260,
  • The number of Israeli settlers in the West Bank is more than 954,000, including 350,000 (36.7%) in occupied East Jerusalem,
  • The number of Israeli Army military bases is 210, occupying 45 square kilometers,
  • The number of Palestinian homes and various structures destroyed by the Israeli occupation since 1967 until today is more than 25 thousand, including more than 8,100 homes and various structures during the past decade (including 1,443 of them funded by donor countries), noting that these numbers do not include the homes and various structures that were destroyed by the occupation during the ongoing Israeli aggression on the Gaza Strip from October 2023 until today,
  • The area of confiscated land for the purposes of military bases and military training sites is 1,016 square kilometers (18%) of the area of the West Bank,
  • The area of isolated lands behind the segregation wall is 771 square kilometers (12.5%) of the West Bank area,
  • The area of confiscated land under the pretext of “nature reserves” is 705 square kilometers (12.4%) of the West Bank are.

However, despite the despair looming of the scene, the facts on the ground prove that the Israeli occupation failed in every possible way to put the Palestinian case into obliviousness and to end their historical claim and their current present and struggle for independence is a testimony of that. The Palestinians presence on their land to date, in spite of all the Israeli atrocities during the past seven decades, the worst of which is still ongoing into Gaza, is an indisputable testimony that Israel has wretchedly failed yet again to end the presence of Palestinians. Today, and 76 years later, the number of Palestinians folded ten times over as they the world attests them to be more committed to their heritage, history, and national identity.


Image Source: Reuters