In 1948, the Zionist gangs ethnically cleansed 500 Palestinian towns and villages, and expelled over 700,000 Palestinians out of their homeland.
The Free Dictionary defines ethnic cleansing as “The systematic elimination of an ethnic group or groups from a region or society, as by deportation, forced emigration, or genocide.”
The United Nations (UN) has declared ethnic cleansing a form of genocide. And international laws have asserted that everyone has the right to return to their country at any time.
By May 15, 1948, when British troops withdrew from what had been described as Mandate Palestine, already nearly 250,000 Palestinians had been forced to flee their villages and cities in Palestine. These expulsions occurred even before the Arab armies attempted to stop the ongoing cleansing, and to support the independence of Palestine.
By 1949 only about 100,000 Palestinian Arabs remained in an illegitimate and expanded Israeli state which went beyond the boundaries specified by the UN Partition Resolution.
Even those Palestinians who remained within the so called Israel became “internally displaced refugees,” denied the right to return to their homes and villages and forced to relocate within the so-called Israel.
Israeli occupation propaganda always places emphasis that the Palestinians left their homes voluntarily, and ignores the role of massacres and other military tactics in prompting the Palestinians' massive exodus, like the massacre of Deir Yassin committed in April 1948.
In 1967, another 200,000 Palestinian were expelled as a direct result of the 1967 war.
Ethnic cleansing continues today in the form of expulsions and Jewish colonial settlements, which are expanding on the lands of Palestinians in Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank.
Reuters reported on March 21, 2014, that the United Nations Special Rapporteur on occupied Palestine, Richard Falk, accused Israel of ethnic cleansing in terms of pushing Palestinians out of East Jerusalem, let alone doubting the Israeli occupation intentions to accept a Palestinian state.
The policies, activities and strategies of the occupation against the Palestinian people throughout historical Palestine reflect their underpinning motives towards both the land and the people. They continue targeting people inside Palestine 48, Al Quds Jerusalem, West Bank and Gaza strip. They deport people, overtake houses, build illegal settlements and continue to seize the natural resources of a whole nation under occupation in order to drive more people out of the land.
Hamas believes that those who supported, assisted and legitimized this ethnic cleansing must be brought to justice and, above all, the victims who lost their homes and lands must be empowered to get their right and rebuild their lives in their own land.