Statement of the Higher National Committee addressing Diplomatic Missions in Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Al Nakba (the Catastrophe)
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Statement of the Higher National Committee addressing Diplomatic Missions in Occasion of the 60th Anniversary of Al Nakba (the Catastrophe)

Since the founding of the apartheid Israeli state sixty years, ago the Palestinian people have endured sufferings and tribulations beyond the imagination of most people. Between 1946 and 1949, thousands of Palestinians were slaughtered and nearly 800,000 imprisoned. 531 towns and villages were erased. 800,000 Palestinians were brutally expelled from their homes and separated from their land: their descendants today are refugees: almost two thirds of the total Palestinian population.

The campaign of dispossession did not end in 1948, but continues through a war of attrition: through home demolitions, confiscation of land, eviction of families and the construction of the Apartheid Wall, which divides communities and families. To ensure control over the Palestinian population, Israel is today constructing a system of apartheid: of identity cards, roadblocks, ghettoes and industrial zones. Palestinians’ political, economic and social structures are crumbling under the onslaught. This system of control is maintained with brutal force. From 30 April to the 7 May, 9 Palestinians were killed by occupying forces in the Gaza Strip and the West Bank, three of them extra-judicially executed by IOF. 35 Palestinians, including 6 children and a woman, were injured by occupying forces. Occupying forces conducted 43 incursions into Palestinian communities in the West Bank, and five into the Gaza Strip. 484 dunums of agricultural land were destroyed. The fuel crisis in the Gaza Strip continues to escalate under total closure. The West Bank remains locked down with around 600 road blocks. Construction of the illegal Wall and settlements continue.

And so the expulsion continues. The Palestinian people constitute a miniscule proportion of the world’s population, yet they make up 30 percent of its refugees. Since the establishment of the United Nations, nearly 10 million refugees around the world have been able to return to their homes; but not one Palestinian refugee. United Nations Resolution 194, which affirms the right of the Palestinian refugees to return to their homes, has been reaffirmed 110 times by the international community over the last 50 years. Yet the Palestinian refugees to this day remain in dispersed around the world, the community shattered.

We condemn the recent US Congressional resolution that suggested that Jews who left the Arab countries voluntarily as refugees who should be compensated for their properties, as this same government has not only failed to come to the defence of the rights of the Palestinian refugees, but also has actively worked against the refugees’ right to return to their homes.

We call on the international community and people of good conscience all over the world to rise up and bring to an end the injustice inflicted on Palestinian refugees for 60 long and bitter years: we call full implementation of UN Resolution 194 and the return of our people to their homes. Without justice for the refugees, there will be no just peace in Palestine.