How we really became refugees 13 Palestinians tell their personal stories
Why I left Bir Ma'in (central Israel) - Orders of Jordanian army, promised we would “return in 2 hours” Official PA TV May 15, 2013 (PA TV reporter): "How did you leave Bir Ma'in? Did you experience the Nakba?" Fuad Khader: "We left, I mean, the one who made us leave was the Jordanian army, because there were going to be battles and we would be under their feet. They told us: 'Leave. In 2 hours we liberate it and then you’ll return.' We left only with our clothes, we didn’t take anything because we were supposed to return in 2 hours. Why carry anything? We’re still waiting for those 2 hours to this day." Why I left Ein Karem (Jerusalem) - Orders from Arab regimes: “Get away [for] at most two weeks” Official PA TV July 7, 2009 Refugee from Ein Karem: "The radio stations of the Arab regimes kept repeating to us: 'Get away from the frontline. It's a matter of ten days, or at most two weeks, and we'll bring you back to Ein Karem [in Jerusalem].' And we said to ourselves, 'That's a very long time. Two weeks is too much.' That's what we thought [then]. And now 50 years have gone by." Why I left Safed (northern Israel) - Out of fear Official PA TV Jan. 1, 2013 PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "The [Arab] Salvation Army withdrew from the city [Safed in 1948], causing the [Arab] people to begin emigrating. In Safed, just like Hebron, people were afraid that the Jews would take revenge for the [Arab] massacre in 1929 (Note: 65 Jews were murdered in Hebron, 18 in Safed)... [In 1948] the people were overcome with fear, and it caused them to leave the city in a disorderly way. " Why I left Jaffa (central Israel) - Orders from Arab fighters Official PA TV Oct. 2, 2014 (TV host): "Abu Ghazaleh, tell us nice memories of Jaffa..." Former Jordanian MP Talal Abu Ghazaleh: "Cars with megaphones roamed the streets, demanding that people leave so the fighting would succeed. They called to us in Arabic to leave our homes: 'We - the Palestinians, the fighters - want to fight, and don’t want you to impede us so we ask you to leave the city [Jaffa] immediately ...' All of us – me, my family, and the others – left any way we could. We went to the port and boarded a ship." Why I left Kafr Saba (central Israel) - We were told to “evacuate village” and assumed we would “return after a few hours” Al-Ayyam daily, May 16, 2006 Asmaa Jabir Balasimah (PMW narration of newspaper): "We heard sounds of explosions and of gunfire at the beginning of the summer in the year of the Nakba . We were told that the Jews attacked our region and it is better to evacuate the village and return after the battle is over. And indeed there were among us those who left a fire burning under the pot, those who left their flocks of sheep, and those who left their money and gold behind, based on the assumption that we would return after a few hours." Why I left Majdal (southern Israel) – Orders from Arab district officer Official PA TV April 30, 1999 Refugee in Gaza (talking on the phone): "My grandfather and my father told me that during the Nakba our district officer issued an order that whoever stays in Palestine and in Majdal is a traitor." Head of Islamic Movement in Israel Ibrahim Sarsur: "The one who gave the order forbidding them to stay there bears guilt for this, in this life and the Afterlife throughout history until Resurrection Day." Why I left Dir Al-Qasi (northern Israel) – we were told we’d return “in a week or two” Official PA TV Feb. 9, 2010 Sadek Mufid: "We headed first from Dir Al-Qasi to Rmaich [in Lebanon], because of what they said at the time: 'By Allah, in a week or two, you’ll return to Palestine.' The Arab armies entered Palestine, along with the [Arab] Salvation Army. We left - we and those who fled with us - and we all headed for Lebanon." Why I left Safed (northern Israel) - Family decision out of fear “hoping we would return” Abbas' Facebook page May 14, 2014 PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas: "To be honest, we were afraid. My family decided – I was the oldest of those who left with my brother’s wife and his two children – that they would move us... I had two pairs of shoes, a new pair and an old pair. I said: ‘'I’ll leave with the old pair, and leave the new pair for when we come back...' We left hoping we would return. They took us east, east of Safed, to the Jordan River."
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