Palestinians in Jakarta gather at embassy to commemorate 76 years since Al-Nakba

Rakyat Merdeka – May 16, 2024
Palestinian Ambassador Zuhair Al-Shun speaking at al-Nakba commemoration – May 16, 2024 (RM)

Larasati Dyah Utami – The Palestinian people commemorated the 76th anniversary of Al-Nakba on Wednesday May 15. Dozens of Palestinians gathered at the Palestinian Embassy in Jakarta to remember the expulsion of the Palestinian people from their homeland 76 years ago.

The Palestinian Ambassador to Indonesia, Zuhair Al-Shun, emphasised that the Palestinian people are not afraid to fight against Israeli colonialism.

Nakba is a word that comes from Arabic meaning "the disaster" or "the catastrophe". Al-Nakba is remembered as the destruction of the Palestinian people and their displacement from their homeland in 1948.

More than 700,000 Palestinians were driven from their homes the time. In 1998, Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat designated May 15 as Al-Nakba Day. Al-Nakba day falls exactly one day after Israel's Independence Day on May 14.

With expressions full of anger, the Palestinian Ambassador reminded those present of the tragic events that are still taking place in Gaza today. He stated that the humanitarian disaster reflects the tragic nature of the Al-Nakba incident. Meanwhile, the international community remains silent.

“I have to say, the international community is currently absent. Many from the international community have provided support. But the world's politicians are completely absent. It's very clear, that they are only looking for profit", said Al-Shun.

The October 7, 2023 conflict was followed by military aggression launched by Israeli Zionist forces in the Gaza Strip. This aggression has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians. As many as 70 percent of these are women and children. More than 1.5 million residents have lost their homes.

Based on records from the United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA), or the UN agency that manages Palestinian refugees, more than 5.8 million Palestinians have fled their homeland. And they continue to face difficulties due to the Al-Nakba incident that occurred in 1947-48.

Most of these refugees live in camps where living conditions are greatly influenced by the repressive policies implemented by Zionist Israel.

Al-Shun urged the international community to continue working to find a solution, especially to end the slaughter of civilians. He even called the war launched by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government in Gaza a stupid war.

“Look at what they did in the West Bank, in Jerusalem, and what they did to aid providers from Jordan", he said.

Since the Al-Nakba tragedy, Zionist Israel has continued to violate Palestinians' rights. The Zionists are also responsible for the deaths of more than 100,000 Palestinians and the arbitrary detention of more than 1 million people.

Al-Shun said the international community had a deep moral obligation regarding the injustice rooted in Al-Nakba. According to Al-Shun, the international community needs to hold Israel accountable for its colonial policies and practices in Palestine.

He also touched on Israel's allies, such as the United States, which continues to provide support to Israel. “We will continue to fight continuously, until Palestine is independent. Hopefully we can meet each other in Jerusalem, Palestine", he said.

The Al-Nakba commemoration was also attended by a representative from the Middle East Directorate of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Rijal Al-Huda. Rijal said Al-Nakba is a reminder to always be consistent in providing support for Palestinians against Israeli colonialism, to fight for independence and the return of their homeland.

“Today we gather here. The people and government of the Republic of Indonesia affirm our support for our sisters and brothers in Palestine, and we will continue to fight to end Israeli atrocities in Gaza, to end the occupation of Palestine, and fight for peace and freedom", said Rijal.

Meanwhile, a representative from the Palestinian youth generation in Jakarta, named Loai Alawneh, said they appreciate Indonesia's support. The youth who is studying Indonesian at the Defense University thanked the people and government of Indonesia, which continues to defend Palestinian independence.

“Thank you very much Indonesia. Many Indonesians care about their Muslim sisters and brothers in Palestine. Palestinians also like Indonesians. Today, is a black day on the Palestinian calendar. Because today the Israeli colonisers entered Palestine. Since that day, many people have died in Palestine", they said in conclusion. (LDU)

[Translated by James Balowski. The original title of the article was "Peringati Al-Nakba Ke-76 Lawan Israel Menggema Di Rumah Dubes Palestina".]