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Why Nakba Day is different this year

May 15, 2024

76 years.  

Today marks 76 years since the displacement, depopulation, and despair of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians, otherwise known as the Nakba, meaning “the catastrophe.”  

76 years later and effectively nowhere, and no one, in Gaza is safe.  

Airstrikes are intensifying, thousands are yet again fleeing, and aid delivery is disrupted. Aid workers in Rafah are working against the odds to keep providing life-saving support to people in need, despite facing a level of danger that is unprecedented even within humanitarian emergencies and experiencing the same inhumane living conditions as the rest of the population. Yet with virtually no aid entering Gaza for days, their efforts are becoming impossible and aid operations risk grinding to a complete halt.   

Women and girls make up about three quarters of the lives taken in Gaza since October. The women who are left are enduring starvation, c-sections without anaesthetic, and continued loss of their children and loved ones. Four out of five mothers in Gaza are skipping meals to feed their children. There are 155,000 pregnant and breastfeeding women in Gaza in need of immediate intervention.   

Yet they are all holding on. They are enduring. The Palestinian communities that ActionAid works with in Gaza are calling on us to use our voices and demand that enough is enough – that  all parties involved must do everything in their power to immediately halt the assault on Rafah, reopen all aid crossing points, and ensure an immediate and permanent ceasefire. The people of Gaza cannot wait.  

The bombs that are dropping on children…   

The bullets that are devastating families…   

The tanks that are destroying schools, and hospitals and homes.  

We say no more.   

It is the supply of arms that enables Israel to continue violating international humanitarian law. And yet, the United States, the largest single provider of military aid to Israel for decades, continues. This administration refuses to see their part in the horror that is unfolding in Gaza.    

It is irresponsible. It is unconscionable. And it must stop. Ceasefire now. Ceasefire now. Ceasefire now.