Graphic for Al-Nakba Day May 15. In the backround is the black, white, green, and red flag of Palestine. The image shows many displaced people having to leave their county. There is a large fist holding a golden key in the centre.
Mei | Better World Info

➡️ Al NAKBA May 15, 1948 – A Day for Palestinian Remembrance

Al Nakba Day translates to "The Catastrophe" in Arabic. The day commemorates the events which took place on May 15, 1948, when 750,000 Palestinian refugees were created as they were violently displaced in the establishment of the State of Israel.

80% of the population were forcibly dispossessed of their land, property, and belongings. Such large-scale ethnic cleansing led to the destruction of Palestinian society, culture, identity, and civil rights which were all stripped away. Al Nakba is also used interchangeably to describe the ongoing persecution of the Palestinian people by Israel.

Al Nakba Day holds profound significance as it reflects on the loss and suffering endured by the Palestinian people and the ongoing issue of statelessness for many. The day serves as a time of mourning and remembrance for Palestinians, and also aims to raise international awareness about their historical and ongoing struggle for rights and recognition.

This year marks 76 years since the beginning of Israel's settler-colonial project and given the current escalation of ➡️ Israel's war on Gaza into Rafah, observances are set to be particularly emotive.

The commemoration of Nakba Day was criminalised in Israel under the Nakba Law in 2011, acting as a deterrent for those mourning the dispossession of their ancestor's land. Regardless, every year protests, marches, rallies, and public speeches take place to keep the memory of the events alive and promote the right of return for Palestinian refugees.

They serve both as a form of remembrance and a call for political change and a reaffirmation of Palestinian identity. This year widespread international protests have been planned to demand a ceasefire of the Gaza war and an end to the suffering of Palestinian people.


Black and white image of a Palestinian refugee camp after the mass displacement in 1948. Many white tents are lined up in the background and in the foreground there is a man turning to face the camera wearing a traditional head covering
Wikipedia Unknown Author | Public Domain

What were the Events that Led to Al Nakba?

The historical backdrop of Al Nakba is intertwined with the broader Arab-Israeli conflict. During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, tensions grew as the immigration of Jewish people to Palestine increased driven by the desire for a Jewish homeland and the escape from persecution in Europe. The United Nations' partition plan of 1947, which proposed dividing Palestine into Arab and Jewish states, was met with opposition and led to escalating conflicts. Following the declaration of the State of Israel in 1948, and the end of the British Mandate and departure of British forces, 80% of the Palestinian population were forcibly displaced by Zionist militias.

The 1967 Palestinian exodus or Naksa refers to the flight of around 300,000 Palestinians out of the territories captured by Israel during and in the aftermath of the Six-Day War.

Today, more than 6 million Palestinians still live as refugees in 58 recognised camps in Joran, Lebanon, Syria, the Gaza Strip, and the West Bank. Conditions in these camps are poor. They are dangerously overcrowded, lack basic infrastructure, and provide limited access to resources or opportunities for socioeconomic advancement.

For many years the Nakba did not receive global attention or recognition, but 2023 saw the United Nations officially commemorate the day for the first time. The decision to mark the 75th anniversary was made to "serve as a reminder of the historic injustice suffered by the Palestinian people".

The increase in global Palestinian solidarity movements and recognition of The Nakba day has helped bring broader attention to the struggle of the Palestinian people to the international stage.

As the Hamas-Israel war continues, Israel must be forced to stop their invasion of Rafah as the ethnic cleansing of Gaza and a second Nakba is unfolding before our eyes.

Please share this unique resource via Twitter, Facebook and Instagram!

Better World Info supports de-escalation, disarmament, diplomacy, and a peace first approach.

Author: Rachael Mellor 13.05.24, licensed under CC BY-ND 4.0.

For more information on Al-Nakba see below ⬇️

The controller (Dr. Norbert Stute, Österreich would like to use the following services in order to process your personal data. Technologies such as cookies, localStorage, etc. can be used for personalization. This is not necessary for the use of the website, but allows us to interact with you more closely. Please select, if appropriate, the following options: