Tuesday May 28, 2024

The Nakba, beginning in 1948, is not just a historical event but an ongoing process of Palestinian displacement. Nearly half a million people were recently forced to flee Rafah, reflecting a tragic repetition of history with increased brutality. As we reflect 76 years on from the Nakba, we are deeply saddened to see Palestinians still being killed, oppressed, and in desperate need of humanitarian support.

The Nakba is more than a single event; it is a continuous process evident in Israel’s ongoing subjugation of Palestinians through violence, suppression, and oppression. In the last two weeks alone, at least 500,000 people have fled Rafah as the Israeli army expanded its ground invasion. Since October 7, 2023, an estimated 1.9 million Palestinians have been displaced in Gaza. We witness the imprisonment and torture of innocent civilians with no end in sight.


An Islamic Relief staff member in Gaza shared their experience:


“The feeling of betrayal and being let down is taking over everyone in Gaza. We are exhausted and praying that the world will end this nightmare, but still, there is no end in sight. Our destruction will go on for another round. We have to keep suffering and living this pain.”


May marks the 76th anniversary of the Nakba. Islamic Relief observes the ongoing displacement and suffering, calling for an immediate ceasefire and an end to the violence. We condemn the killing of innocent civilians and the international community for allowing history to repeat itself. We demand open borders, protection of civilians, and unhindered aid access into Gaza.


Another Islamic Relief staff member recounted:


“I started getting calls from my friends in Rafah – they are preparing for a new journey, yet another displacement. One friend struggled to hold back tears as he described the scenes around him: people running everywhere; families walking with as many of their belongings as they could carry. These families have nowhere else to go. They stayed in Rafah, hoping the global opposition to an attack would stop the occupying army. But in truth, the whole world has left us to be brutalized by Israel.”

Rafah, once home to at least 1.2 million people, now lies deserted like a ghost town.

People are terrified, enclosed by a military force that has killed thousands of civilians, including women and children, in brutal ways since the Israeli siege of Gaza began. The incursion into Rafah has closed its border crossing, with little aid reaching Gaza despite an increasingly desperate population facing famine.

The situation in Gaza deteriorates daily. We must unite, coordinate our response, and raise awareness for those suffering. Let us stand in solidarity with Palestine and work to end the ongoing atrocities. May peace prevail, and may we prioritize human life above all else.

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