Timeline of First Ethnic Cleansing in Palestine

AstroMystic, 21/06/24

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine began in early December 1947. This was shortly after the UN adopted Resolution 181, which partitioned Palestine. The first targets of the ethnic cleansing were Palestinian villages and neighborhoods. Jewish forces attacked these areas in retaliation for Palestinian protests against the UN resolution. These attacks caused 75,000 Palestinians to flee.

Plan Dalet, the master plan for the ethnic cleansing of Palestine, was adopted on March 10, 1948. The plan’s objective was to expel the Palestinian population and establish a Jewish state.

By the end of April 1948, Jewish forces had occupied all of Palestine’s major urban centers. Approximately 250,000 Palestinians were displaced during this period. This phase also included several massacres, including the Deir Yassin massacre.

Between March 30 and May 15, 1948, 200 Palestinian villages were occupied and their residents expelled. By the time Arab states intervened, nearly half of all Arab villages had been attacked. A further ninety villages were destroyed by the fall of 1948.

The ethnic cleansing of Palestine continued even after the end of the British Mandate on May 15, 1948. The newly formed state of Israel had sufficient troops to fight the Arab armies while continuing to expel Palestinians. By the end of May 1948, the ethnic cleansing was proceeding as planned.

Although there were periods of truce during the war, the ethnic cleansing continued uninterrupted. The second truce, which began on July 18, 1948, was immediately violated by Israeli forces. Hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were displaced in July 1948 alone.

By October 1948, Israel had shifted its focus to preventing the return of Palestinian refugees. They accelerated the demolition of Palestinian villages to undermine any possibility of their return. This effort continued into the 1950s.

The ethnic cleansing operations were mostly complete by 1950. By then, the majority of Palestinians who had lived in what became Israel were living as refugees in neighboring countries. Those who remained within Israel’s borders were subject to military rule until 1966. Despite the formal end of military rule, Palestinians in Israel continue to face discrimination and the threat of displacement.

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Youth's poetry ignites my quest, Against oppression, I protest. In Palestine's struggle, voices rise, For freedom, peace, justice, my cries.
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