On 75th Anniversary of Palestinian Nakba

Nakba in Palestine describes a process of ethnic cleansing in which an unarmed native nation was destroyed and its population displaced systematically to be replaced by Jewish occupiers from all over the world.

According Wafa, The Nakba resulted in the displacement 957 thousand Palestinians out of the 1.4 million Palestinians who were living in historical Palestine in 1948 in 1,300 villages and towns.

The majority of the displaced Palestinians ended up in neighboring Arab countries, in the West Bank and Gaza Strip and other countries in the world.

Furthermore, thousands of Palestinians who stayed in the land controlled by Israeli occupation in 1948 were driven out of their homes and lands which were seized.

According to the historical documentary evidence, Israeli Occupation controlled 774 towns and villages and destroyed 531 Palestinian towns and villages during the Nakba.

The atrocities of Zionist forces also included more than 51 massacres in which more than 15 thousand Palestinians were martyred.

The Demographic Reality: Palestinian population has doubled about 10 times since the Nakba, 1948

Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), said today that 75 years since the Palestinian Nakba, the number of Palestinians worldwide has doubled about 10 times.

The population of Palestine in 1914 was around 690 thousand; of whom only 8% were Jewish. In 1948, the number of Palestinians in Palestine exceeded 2 million; 31.5% of them were Jews. Between 1932 and 1939, the largest number of Jewish immigrants to Palestine reached 225 thousand Jews.

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Between 1940 and 1947, more than 93 thousand Jews poured into Palestine. Thus, Palestine received around 318 thousand Jews between 1932 and 1947 and more than 3.3 million from 1948 to 2022.

Despite the displacement of more than one million Palestinians in 1948, and the displacement of more than 200 thousand Palestinians (majority of them to Jordan) after the 1967 war, the Palestinian world population was 14 million by the end of 2022, which means that the number of Palestinians in the world has doubled about 10 times since the Nakba, and more than half of them lived in historical Palestine by the end of 2022. .

Accordingly, their number reached 7 million (1.7 million in the occupied territories in 1948). Population estimates indicated that the number of population by the end of 2022 in the West Bank, including Jerusalem, was 3.2 million and around 2.2 million in the Gaza Strip.

As for the population of Jerusalem Governorate, it was about 487 thousand; approximately 65% of which (about 314 thousand) lived in those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli occupation in 1967 (J1).

Data showed that Palestinians represented 50.1% of the population living in historical Palestine, while Jews constituted 49.9% by the end of 2022. Israeli occupation continues its control over 85% of the area of historical Palestine, which amounts to 27 thousand square kilometers (km2).

Palestinian Refugees Status

In December 2020, the records of the United Nations Relief and Works Agency (UNRWA) showed that the total number of Palestinian refugees was around 6.4 million of them around two million in West Bank and Gaza Strip, 28.4% of whom live in 58 camps (10 in Jordan, 9 in Syria, 12 in Lebanon, 19 in the West Bank and 8 in Gaza Strip).

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Those estimates, however, indicated the minimum number of refugees, as many of them are not registered. This number does not include the Palestinians displaced in the period from 1949 till the Six-Day war in June 1967. The UNRWA definition of refugees does not cover Palestinians who migrated or those who were displaced after 1967 because of the war and who were not registered refugees.

More than 100 Thousand Martyrs since the Nakba, 1948

The number of Palestinian and Arab martyrs killed since the Nakba in 1948 and until this day (inside and outside Palestine) reached about 100 thousand martyrs. Moreover, the number of martyrs killed in Al-Aqsa Intifada between September 29th 2000 until December 31st 2022 was 11,540.

It is said that the bloodiest year was 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, 2,181 of them were from Gaza Strip during the war on Gaza. During 2022, the number of Palestinian martyrs reached 231, 56 of whom were children and 17 women. While the number of wounded Palestinians reached about 10,000 in 2022.

Israeli Occupation: Continuous Expansion of Settlements

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By the end of 2021, there were 483 Israeli occupation sites and military bases in the West Bank, including 151 settlements and 25 inhabited outposts that considered as neighborhoods following established settlements, in addition to 163 settlement outposts, and 144 classified as other sites (industrial, tourists, service areas and Israeli army bases). As for the number of settlers in the West Bank, it reached 719,452 settlers by the end of 2021.

Thus, data shows that around 45.4% of settlers live in Jerusalem governorate, where their number reached about 326,523 settlers; out of which 239,951 settlers live in East Jerusalem (J1) “including those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli occupation in 1967”.

Followed by Ramallah and Al-Bireh governorate with 143,311 settlers, 95,279 settlers in Bethlehem governorate, and 50,067 settlers in Salfit governorate. While Tubas & the northern Jordan Valley are the lowest governorates in terms of the number of settlers with 2,629 settlers.

The ratio of settlers to Palestinians in the West Bank is about 23 settlers for every 100 Palestinians, while the highest is in Jerusalem governorate with about 69 settlers for every 100 Palestinians.

The year 2022 witnessed a significant increase in the pace of building and expanding Israeli settlements, as the occupation authorities approved about 83 project plans to build more than 22 thousand units throughout the West Bank, including Jerusalem. (T/RE1)

Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)