RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) – Residents of the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood, who were expelled from their homeland in May 1948, are facing another expulsion on the 73rd anniversary of Nakba, or Great Catastrophe.
Nakba, the symbol of forced migration and massacres for millions of Palestinians who have lived in exile for decades, expresses an unrelenting pain for more than seven decades.
The story of those living in Sheikh Jarrah, who face the threat of eviction from their homes today, dates to Nakba when they were forcibly removed from their lands.
Residents do not want to become refugees for a second time after being settled in Jordan.
– Sheikh Jarrah residents face relocation threat for second time
In 1948, when Israel declared its independence in Palestinian territories, 28 refugee families were settled in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood.
Israel wants 12 families, a total of 129 people, including 46 children, to immediately evacuate houses to make room for illegal Jewish settlers.
Recently, Israel and Jewish settlers, who have been trying to take complete control of the neighborhood and establish a settlement, have resorted to all kinds of illegal methods, including publishing false documents.
Palestinian resident, Nebil al-Kerad, 77, told Anadolu Agency he just 4 years old when his family was evicted from their home in Haifa in northern Israel — former Palestinian land.
“I don't remember much of my days in Haifa because I was young, but my father had a restaurant by the beach, I do remember it. In 1948 we were exiled, left homeless and never returned to our lands,” he said.
Al-Kerad noted that 73 years later, Sheikh Jarrah faces a "new deportation.”
“With the recent powerful Palestinian uprising against the evacuations of Sheikh Jarrah, we are hopeful not only in our struggle for Sheikh Jarrah, but also in returning to the lands we were exiled from during the Nakba, the disaster of 1948,” he said.
He said as long as the Palestinian struggle continues this way, Palestinians are marching toward freedom.
Al-Kerad said events in Sheikh Jarrah have resonated all over Palestine and Palestinian people are much stronger today.
-Palestinian resistance shocked Tel Aviv administration
Palestinian writer and political analyst Mustapha Ibrahim also stated that on the 73rd anniversary of Nakba, extraordinary events took place in occupied Jerusalem, the West Bank and in the blockaded Gaza Strip.
“The resistance of the Palestinians shocked the Tel Aviv administration, which believed it was defeating them,” he said.
“Israel thought that Palestinians was defeated by the difficult economic conditions experienced. They also thought this generation forgot their cause, but today occupied cities are also leading this resistance,” he added.
Political analyst Ibrahim emphasized that the Palestinian administration should take advantage of this atmosphere and strengthen the Palestinian cause.
-Israel could not erase historic Palestine from memory
Palestinian journalist and researcher Mahmud Fatafita said despite the forced expulsion and massacres Palestinians has faced since 1948, the population of Palestinians is increasing.
“Israel is no longer a country that can bring migrants as it did during the Nakba. Even 73 years later, it could not erase historical Palestine from the memory of generations,” he said.
Touching on the population growth of Palestinians living in Israel, Fatafita said Palestinians in the Jalil region in northern Israel exceed the population of Jews and make up 52% of the population.
According to a report by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics on the 73rd anniversary of Nakba, the number of Palestinians has increased nine times since the “Great Catastrophe” in 1948.
The report said approximately 1.6 million Palestinians live in Israel, 3.1 million in Jerusalem and the West Bank and 2.1 million in Gaza. The number of Palestinians living in Jerusalem by the end of 2020 was approximately 467,000.
The report includes said the population of Palestinians, which stood at 13.7 million by the end of 2020, makes up 49.7% of the population in historical Palestinian territories is Palestinians and 50.3% are Jews. But Jews use more than 85% of the 27,000 square kilometers (16,800 square miles) of historical Palestinian land.