Palestinians fear a repeat of the 1948 “Nakba”
The increase in frequent and intense violence has brought back memories of the “Nakba,” or catastrophe, from the 1948 Arab-Israeli war, where hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were expelled from their homes and many could not return. Back then, their villages were either destroyed or renamed to wipe out their histories.
To date, Palestinian villages have experienced the same or even worse. Based on the testimonies of the Umm al-Kheir villagers, masked men in army uniforms were overrunning communities, beating and intimidating them. The men also smashed their cell phones prior to the attack to prevent documentation.
Meanwhile in Susiya, settlers and reservists confront and threaten residents even in daylight as they drive through the village. At night, no one sleeps much as villagers relocate their bedding outside, hoping to better hear if raiding parties approach.
In the Bedouin Palestinian communities, farmers are already scared to plant their crops or let their herds roam freely. Some residents have stopped going outside altogether, surviving on whatever food was in their cupboards since Oct. 7. Adults prioritize feeding the children first, while children wonder why adults do not eat.
Yesh Din, an Israeli rights group keeping a close eye on the West Bank, documents troubling incidents related to the Israel-Hamas war. The group stated that attacks were increasing and changing day by day.
For instance, Palestinian farmers in Qusra discovered that 500 olive trees passed down through generations were destroyed, and their farmland was covered with cement. In Qaryut, local harvesters were attacked and blocked from returning to their village.