Palestine 101


May 15, 1948, is known worldwide as day the state of Israel was created. But that date is commemorated by the Palestinians as the beginning of al-Nakba, or “the Catastrophe,” the beginning of the ethnic cleansing of Palestinians from their homeland.

Though the Nakba occurred in 1948, the process of cleansing Palestine began in 1917 with the Balfour Declaration, when the British government gave its consent to the Zionist World Organization for "establishment in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people."

The process of forcing Palestinians out of their homes and into exile began after the United Nations partitioned Palestine in November 1947. From that time, until an armistice was signed on Jan. 1, 1949, Jewish militias and terrorist groups killed 13,000 Palestinian, forced 750,000 – more than half the Palestinian population -- into exile and permanent refugee status, and depopulated and/or destroyed more than 500 villages. The Nakba continues today as a result of Israeli occupation policies that are intent on forcing Palestinians to leave Palestine.

Explore this section to learn more about the history leading up to the current facts on the ground today, from a look at the original documents, Zionism, the British Mandate, the 1967 Six Day war, the peace processes and the intifadas. 

Learn the history.

Current Situation

The situation on the ground in Palestine today is dire.

Since the Oslo Peace Accords were signed in 1993, Palestinian civil society has been severely developed. In 2007, Israel, supported by Egypt, imposed a total siege on the Gaza Strip. Since then, Israeli forces also have launched three major assaults that resulted in the deaths of thousands of Palestinians, including women and children. 

The apartheid wall, travel restrictions, military detention of Palestinian citizens of the West Bank, including early 700 children every year, and at least 50 laws that discriminate against Palestinian citizens of Israel, all contravene international and American laws. 

This section will be continually updated to ensure the most relevant information is available for your use. 

Read up about key issues in the current situation.