For first time, UN marks 75 years since displacement of 700,000 Palestinians.

The United Nations Monday commemorated for the first time in its history, the mass displacement of Palestinians from land that was to become Israel, 75 years ago, that turned 700,000 Palestinians into refugees, almost overnight.

The mass displacement in 1948, known as the Nakba (meaning 'catastrophe'), has an importance to Palestinians across the world, Rosemary DiCarlo, UN Under-Secretary-General for Political and Peacebuilding Affairs, said, while addressing a high-level event at UN Headquarters in New York, marking the day.

The event was attended by the Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas; many member states from Asia, Africa, Central and South America and the Middle East; and representatives of the African Union and the Arab League, who delivered speeches. The United States and Britain did not attend.

'The legacy of the event lives on, spearing us to continue our unflagging efforts to find a peaceful and lasting solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict,' Ms. DiCarlo said, noting that the General Assembly had adopted a resolution in November 2022 for this commemorative day.

Ms. DiCarlo expressed deep concerns about diminishing prospects for kickstarting the peace process on the way to forging a two-State solution, given the current landscape of expanding Israeli settlements in occupied territory, recent violence, and Israel's violation of Palestinian rights.

'Palestinians deserve a life of justice and dignity and the realization of their right to self-determination and independence,' she added.

She said 'The UN position is clear: the occupation must end. A two-State solution must be achieved in line with international law. We want to see an independent State of Palestine living side by side with Israel in peace.'

For Palestinians, the 1948 the massive displacement meant families took what they could carry or was shipped in trucks, from their homes to areas outside the new State of Israel.

The UN agency created to serve the displaced population (UNRWA), reports that 5.9 million Palestinian are currently registered as refugees.

The sombre anniversary spotlights the world's longest-standing protracted refugee crisis, serving as a stark reminder that Palestine refugees continue to live amidst conflict, violence, and occupation while aspiring to a just and lasting solution to their plight, said the UN Committee on the Rights of Palestine People.

'The Nakba memory will remain; it will continue to motivate our people to end the...

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