On Monday, Palestinians all over the world commemorated the 70th anniversary of the Nakba, or Catastrophe: the systematic eviction of more than 700,000 Palestinians from their homes and communities before and in the aftermath of the State of Israel’s Declaration of Independence on May 14, 1948.
To this day, many displaced Palestinians and their families have been denied reentry by Israeli authorities. Nakba Day not only honors the displacement of Palestinians, but also advocates for their right to return.
The relocation on Monday of the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem inflamed the seven weeks of protests leading up to Nakba Day in the Gaza Strip, resulting in Israeli forces killing at least 60 Palestinian protestors and injuring more than 2,700. It is considered to be the deadliest day in Gaza since the 2014 Israel–Gaza clashes.
Despite generations of forced displacement and oppression, Palestinians around the world have maintained their identity and connection with their ancestral homeland.
This year, many Palestinians are using Twitter to share stories passed on by relatives forced to exile 70 years ago using #MyNakbaStory to raise awareness as to why they continue to protest.
Today marks #Nakba70,the day that remembers the moment my grandparents were pushed on a boat & forced to become refugees in Egypt. To push national identity, no Palestinian would be given citizenship. My dad would grow up stateless, & his parents would never return.#MyNakbaStory pic.twitter.com/H3NZGb8rD6
— Joseph Gedeon (@JGedeon1) May 15, 2018
My grandfather was a train conductor in Palestine.
This is his Nakba story, so I guess its #MyNakbaStory too. (A thread.)
— tarek z. ismail (@tarekzismail) May 15, 2018
My grandmother fled on a truck with her siblings when she was 5 years old in 1948. They lived on a small piece of land provided by the UNRWA in Yarmouk, Syria, they built them a room. 14 people in one room. #MyNakbaStory (3)
— Laura Al Bast (@Lau_Bast) May 15, 2018
My grandma was 11 years old when she left Yafa. They were told to leave their houses for a few weeks and come back after things settled. Zionist troops who had just immigrated to Yafa through its sea port were shooting everything and everyone. #MyNakbaStory https://t.co/IjR5KHw4Hy
— Maryam Alqassas (@M_alqassas) May 14, 2018
“Like so many Palestinians, they no longer have the right to live in—or even freely visit—their birthplaces, even though both were born before the state of Israel was created.” Check out Tanya’s #MyNakbaStory and share yours with us! https://t.co/2iWbvHNbAk pic.twitter.com/DxBTng6c09
— The IMEU (@theIMEU) May 7, 2018