Al-Nakba: The Palestinian Catastrophe Part 3
Al Jazeera (2013)
Once the UK announced its intention (in February 1947 – see 1947: British Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine ) to end its occupation, the UN Security Council voted to partition Palestine – granting 56% of country to Jewish settlers (who represented 5.5% of the population) and 44% to the indigenous Arabs (who comprised 94.5% of the population). There is documentary evidence that the Truman administration used a combination of bribery and “pressure” (unfavorable aid or trade consequences) to swing the UN vote in favor of partition.
By 1947 the combined forces of the Jewish paramilitary (terrorist) groups had reached 40,000 and begun a campaign of systematic ethnic cleansing (which paramilitary leader and future prime minister David Ben-Gurion documents in his diary). By May 14, 1948, the day British troops withdrew from Palestine, half of the country’s 548 villages had already been evacuated and taken over by Jewish terrorists.
Jewish paramilitary forces typically employed a strategy of shelling Palestinian cities and villages from three sides, while leaving an single open corridor for civilians to flee. Any Palestinians who stayed to defend their homes were slaughtered or transferred to detention camps. British troops and police looked on without intervening.
In several instances Jewish terrorist forces imitated their Nazi persecutors in Europe by forcing Palestinians to dig their own mass graves before shooting them.
The remaining Palestinian resistance desperately sought assistance from Arab League nations in defending their homeland. Surrounding Arab countries amassed roughly 24,000 troops to defend Palestine. In addition to being poorly equipped and trained,* they had no unified command. Jordan, the only country with a strong, well-equipped military, made a secret deal with the Jewish forces not to support the Palestinians.
In contrast, Palestine’s Greek orthodox churches assisted by offering sanctuary to both Christian and Muslim Palestinians fleeing Jewish violence. The Jewish gangs, refusing to honor the age-old custom of sacred spaces and sanctuary, responded by seizing and killing teenager Palestinians until the adults agreed to surrender.
*When British troops marched out of Palestine, they left nearly all their heavy military equipment behind for the use of of the Jewish paramilitaries.