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Palestinians lament 70 years since UN ‘partition’ made way for Israel

Palestinian refugees returning to their village after its surrender during the 1948 Arab-Israeli war.
AFP
The Jewish nation's turbulent road to statehood conversely left 760,000 Palestinians in exile

While Jewish communities worldwide celebrate this day in history, marking 70 years since a historical UN resolution passed, paving the way for the creation of Israel, Palestinians mark it as the beginning of “Nakba,” meaning "catastrophe" in Arabic. The day is also observed as an International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

On November 29, 1947, the relatively new United Nations approved the Partition Plan for splitting Mandatory Palestine into two states, ending over twenty years of the British Mandate for Palestine.

The establishment of the State of Israel was announced six months later.

While the original partition plan proposed and passed by the UN saw to one independent state for the Arabs and one for the Jews, 70 years later, a Palestinian state still does not exist.

The resolution detailed measures for independence to be implemented by August 1, 1948, but set off an explosive conflict in its trail.

When Israel’s founding father, David Ben Gurion, declared the establishment of the State of Israel on May 1, 1948, the next day a coalition of Arab states attacked the newborn nation, launching the region into its first Arab-Israeli war and Israel’s fight for independence.

KLUGER ZOLTAN/ GPO

The war ended with Israel occupying 78 percent of Mandatory Palestine and the nation's turbulent road to statehood conversely left 760,000 Palestinians in exile.

In 1977, the UN General Assembly declared an annual observance for November 29, the day Resolution 181 passed, as the International Day of Solidarity with the Palestinian People.

Today, the region remains in disarray as renewed plans for peace have repeatedly stalled or outright collapsed. Many Palestinian refugees are still reeling from the landmark resolution.

“We'd like to get rid of the refugee status, but in the meantime, we proudly bear it,” says one resident of the Dheisheh Refugee Camp, Ahmad Jaafari, to i24NEWS. “The partition plan, it's like if someone would come into your house and would like you to share it with him. Obviously, you would say no.”

“The Israeli government will never stop accusing us of never missing an opportunity to miss an opportunity,” continues Jaafari. “ It is looking for excuses because in reality, it doesn't have a sincere intention to make peace.”

Youseff Karwashan (AFP/File)

“A partition plan exists and it's called the Two-State Solution,” remarked another resident of the Dheisheh camp, Jamil Al-Qassas, to i24NEWS. “We already made an historical compromise by recognizing the State of Israel on 78 percent of the historical Palestine and by accepting that the future Palestinian State is created on only 22 percent of the original territory.”

The majority of the international community still favors a two-state solution, but several factors in the past decade have made such a solution an even more complicated prospect than it was in 1948.

Under Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s government, thousands of settlement plans have been approved in the disputed West Bank territories, and the status of Jerusalem, which both Palestinians and Israelis see as their capital to any future state, remains a highly-sensitive flashpoint.

THOMAS COEX (AFP/File)

In 1967, Israel took control of the areas in the West Bank and east Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community, and more than 600,000 Israelis now live in settlements.

Both issues are considered major hindrances to any peace plans involving two states.

However, there is another solution “without sharing,” says Al-Qassas, “which is a bi-national state.”

“The majority of Palestinians would accept this solution, but Israel refuses,” he adds. “Israel also rejects the two-state solution based on the 1967 boundaries."

“The problem is in the Israeli camp, not in ours,” he argues.

While peace talks have been moribund, US President Donald Trump has been eager to revive peace talks since taking office in January, stating it would be the “ultimate deal.”

Unlike previous administrations, he has not stuck by typical US policy to support a two-state solution, saying in February that he was happy with either a one-state or two-state solution if the parties favored it.

Read More:

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Palestinian negotiator criticizes US silence on settlements

Slim majority of Israelis, Palestinians still back two-state solution: poll

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“On the same day the LORD made a covenant (promise, pledge) with Abram, saying, “To your descendants I have given this land, From the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates--” ‭‭GENESIS‬ ‭15:18‬ ‭AMP‬‬ http://bible.com/1588/gen.15.18.amp Too bad the wanderers did not read the bible.If they had read it, they would not have wasted their precious time in Israel for so many years.

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