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.
Actually, 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.