Gaza displacement shows Israel’s ‘appalling record’

Israel has begun a long-feared ground invasion of Rafah, displacing hundreds of thousands of people [AFP/Getty]

The forced displacement of nearly two million Palestinians and large-scale destruction of civilian property and infrastructure in Gaza highlights Israel’s “appalling record” of displacement, Amnesty International said on Wednesday.

It also shows Israel’s refusal to respect Palestinians’ right of return for the past 76 years.

The remarks came on Nakba Day, an annual commemoration of the expulsion of around 750,000 Palestinians from their homes by Zionist militias in 1948 to make way for the creation of the Israeli state.

“Generations of Palestinians across the occupied territories are deeply scarred by the trauma of being uprooted and dispossessed multiple times and with no prospect of return to their homes,” said Erika Guevara Rosas, senior advocacy director at Amnesty.

“It is utterly harrowing to see the chilling scenes of [the] 1948 Nakba (catastrophe), as it is known to Palestinians, repeat themselves as droves of Palestinians in Gaza are forced to flee their homes on foot in search of safety over and over, and Israeli army and state backed settlers expel Palestinians in the West Bank from their homes.”

Israel has begun a long-feared ground invasion of the southern Gazan city of Rafah, which borders Egypt. It has also been pressing military operations in northern Gaza.

Around 600,000 Palestinians have been driven out of Rafah since the beginning of last week, the UN said. In northern Gaza, Israeli bombardment and evacuation orders have displaced at least 100,000 people so far.

From 1947 to 1949, hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were pushed out of their homes inside what is now Israel in a campaign of mass ethnic cleansing.

While they and their descendants have a right of return under international law, Israel has never let them exercise it.

Following the 1967 Middle East war, Israel occupied the Gaza Strip and West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in an episode known as the Naksa (“setback” in Arabic).

During and following the war, over 350,000 more Palestinians were forced out of the West Bank. Like those made refugees during the Nakba, they have also not been permitted to return.

Amnesty called on the international community to do all it can to prevent further forcible transfer of Palestinians and to reverse the status of permanent displacement of all Palestinians by enabling them to meaningfully their right of return.

The rights group also called for an immediate, enduring ceasefire by all parties in Gaza.

Israel’s seven-month war on Gaza has so far killed at least 35,233 people, according to the Palestinian enclave’s health ministry.

Agencies contributed to this report.

Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *