[This graphic was produced by Visualizing Palestine.]
Every year on March 30th, Palestinians commemorate the events of Land Day, when the Israeli government killed six unarmed Palestinians who were protesting the state’s expropriation of land in the Galilee.
On Land Day of 2018, Palestinians in the Gaza Strip initiated the Great Return March, a recurring demonstration at the barrier between Gaza and Israel.
40 Palestinians have been killed by Israel during these demonstrations. A majority of those killed were refugees, displaced from their homes during the 1948 Nakba - the expulsion of 700,000 Palestinians from territory which became Israel. This visual highlights their villages of origin.
In contravention of international law, Israel has consistently refused to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their homes in present-day Israel, because their presence there could challenge the state’s Jewish demographic majority. Quite simply, according to Israel, they are from the wrong ethnic group.
In fact, due to Israel’s devastating blockade, Palestinians in Gaza cannot even leave the densely populated coastal enclave, except in rare cases with Israeli permission.
Great Return March demonstrators are calling for Israel to allow Palestinian refugees to return to their villages of origin, and to end the blockade. The demonstrations are slated to continue until May 15th - the day on which Palestinians commemorate the 1948 Nakba.