A weekly report published by the Center for Political and Development Studies (CPDS), Gaza on the latest developments in Palestine.
By Yousef M. Aljamal
– The 1948 Palestinian Nakba, (Arabic: النكبة, an-Nakbah, lit. “disaster”, “catastrophe”, or “cataclysm”), occurred when approximately 711,000 to 725,000 Palestinian Arabs were expelled from their homes, during the 1948 ethnic cleansing operations carried out by armed Jewish gangs. The exact number of refugees is a matter of dispute.
– Factors involved in the fight include Jewish military advances, attacks against Arab villages and fears of massacre after Deir Yassin, which caused many to leave out of panic, and expulsion orders by Zionist authorities. Later, Palestinians were expelled as part of Plan Dalet. The expulsion of the Palestinians has since been described as ethnic cleansing.
– The status of the refugees, the right to return to their homes and to be compensated, are key issues in the ongoing Palestinian struggle. The events of 1948 are commemorated by Palestinians on 15 May, now known as Nakba Day.
– Nakba resulted in the ethnic cleansing of hundreds of Palestinian villages. Settlement activity has not stopped since then and refugees were never allowed to return home.
– Last year, hundreds of thousands of Palestinian refugees from Lebanon, Syria, Jordan and historical Palestine marched toward the borders, asking for the implementation of 194 UN Resolution. Israel, nevertheless faced them with brutal force, killing dozens.
Latest Development on Nakba
– The Israeli government issued a law preventing the indigenous Palestinian people of 1948 from marking Nakba anniversary, in a move which poses a real threat to freedom of expression and principles of democracy.
– On 15th of May, dozens of Palestinians were injured as they tried to March towards Al-Ramleh city in 1948’s lands through Qalandia Checkpoint.
– On 17th of April, thousands of Palestinian prisoners went on hunger strike to achieve basic demands including ending administrative detention, solitary confinement, the Shalit Law and allowing family visits. Prisoners agreed to end the hunger strike on 14th of May, after The Israeli Prison Service (IPS) agreed to concede most of their demands. Four Palestinian prisoners are still on hunger strike.
Latest Development on Palestinian Prisoners
– Addameer Association for Human Rights issued a statement in which it stated “On the day commemorating 64 years since the Palestinian Nakba, it is regrettable that it has taken the near-starvation of Palestinian political prisoners en masse to call attention to their plight; it is therefore imperative to take this opportunity to not only applaud their achievements but also to push forward lobbying efforts on their behalf and demand a just and permanent resolution for their cause. Addameer extends its utmost gratitude to the dedicated activists and institutions, including members of civil society and the diplomatic community, who have supported the Palestinian prisoners in their campaign for dignity.”
– Israel punished over 1600 prisoners, who went on huger strike by depriving them from canteen and family visits for a month, in a grievous violation of the deal.
– IPS renewed the administrative detention order for Nayef Al-Rojoub, Hamas PLC member, and Mohammed Karam, PFLP member.
Role of International Community in Reaching the Prisoners’ Deal
– Egypt and other EU countries contributed to this success directly and indirectly. The international community is urged to pressure Israel to fully implement the deal, particularly ending solitary confinement of all prisoners, allowing family visits and providing prisoners with aid, of which they are in desperate need to. Keeping the past experience in mind, the UN is urged to monitor the implementation of the deal, which guarantees the basic rights of prisoners, as stated in the Fourth Geneva Convention.
Third: Israel’s Violations of Palestinians’ Rights
Israel Continues Violations of Palestinian Rights, International Criticism Mounts
– In a statement, The EU expressed deep concern about developments on the ground which threaten to make a two-state solution impossible. The EU stated that the marked acceleration of settlement construction following the end of the 2010 moratorium, the recent decision of the government of Israel regarding the status of some settlements outposts as well as the proposal to relocate settlers from Migron within the occupied Palestinian territory, despite all outposts erected since March 2001 requiring dismantling according to the Roadmap. In East-Jerusalem the ongoing evictions and house demolitions, changes to the residency status of Palestinians, the expansion of Givat Hamatos and Har Homa, and the prevention of peaceful Palestinian cultural, economic, social or political activities are all issues of concern, as are the worsening living conditions of the Palestinian population in Area C and serious limitations for the PA to promote the economic development of Palestinian communities in Area C, as well as plans of forced transfer of the Bedouin communities, in particular from the wider E1 area.
– The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) recently issued its weekly report on Israeli violations in the occupied territory for the period between 9- 15 of May, revealing that Israeli soldiers shot at least 370 Palestinians during the Nakba commemoration, and continued their violations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.
– The occupation authorities prevented Nizar Al-Tamimi, ex-prisoner freed in the last exchange deal, from traveling via Al-Karama Crossing despite his being granted a permit to travel to get married to his fiancée Ahlam, who was deported to Jordan in October 2011.
– Jumana Abu Jazzar, an eight-year old Palestinian girl, ended her hunger strike in solidarity with her dad, who went on hunger strike in Israel’s jails. The child told Maan News Agency that “I am eager to hug her dad, after I lost my mother, uncle and grandfather, and still live with my grandmother, the only person left to care for me.”
AL Asks for International Envoy for Palestinian Prisoners
-Nabil Al-Arabi, the head of the Arab League and Saa’eb Iriqat, PLO Executive Committee Member, in a meeting in Cairo discussed the possibility of assigning a UN special envoy to monitor the conditions of Palestinian prisoners.