Nakba = Catastrophe
Nakba "Catastrophe" refers to the destruction of Palestinian society in 1948 when more than 700,000 Palestinians were forced into exile by Israel because the Palestinians were obstacles to the creation of a Jewish state.

Many Zionist leaders in Palestine openly favored "transfer" of the Palestinian population.By the end of 1948, more than 700,000 Palestinians - two-thirds of the Palestinian population - fled in panic or were forcibly expelled. It is estimated that more than 50 percent fled under direct military attack. Others fled in panic as news of massacres.

Zionist forces depopulated more than 450 Palestinian towns and villages, most of which were demolished to prevent the return of the refugees. These. Although Jews owned only about seven percent of the land in Palestine and constituted about 33 percent of the population, Israel was established on 78 percent of Palestine.

The Nakba is the source of the still-unresolved Palestinian refugee problem. Today, there are more than 4 million registered Palestinian refugees worldwide. The majority of them still live within 60 miles of the borders of Israel and the West Bank and Gaza Strip where their original homes are located. Israel refuses to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and to pay them compensation.

Fifty-nine years after the Nakba, Palestinians continue to be denied their freedom and independence. In 1948, 78 percent of Palestine became the state of Israel. Today, the 22 percent that remains continues to be confiscated for the expansion of Israeli settlements and construction of the separation wall. This denial of Palestinian rights combined with U.S. financial and diplomatic support for Israel fuels anti-American sentiment abroad.

Resolution of the Palestinian issue would improve America's image and create lasting goodwill in the Arab and Muslim worlds.


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