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Asia Pacific Report

As Israel drives the Palestinians deeper into another Nakba in Gaza with its assault on Rafah, the Palestine Youth Aotearoa (PYA) and solidarity supporters in Aotearoa New Zealand tonight commemorated the original Nakba — “the Catastrophe” — of 1948.

The 1948 Nakba
The 1948 Nakba . . . more than 750,000 Palestinians were forced to leave their homeland and become exiles in neighbouring states. Many dream of their UN-recognised right to return. Image: Wikipedia

This was when Israeli militias slaughtered more than 15,000 people, perpetrated more than 70 massacres and occupied more than three quarters of Palestine, with 750,000 of the Palestinian population forced into becoming refugees from their own land.

The Nakba was a massive campaign of ethnic cleansing followed by the destruction of hundreds of villages, to prevent the return of the refugees — similar to what is being wrought now in Gaza.

The Nakba lies at the heart of 76 years of injustice for the Palestinians — and for the latest injustice, the seven-month long war on Gaza.

Participants told through their stories, poetry and songs by candlelight, they would not forget 1948 — “and we will not forget the genocide under way in Gaza.”

Photographs: David Robie

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