It has been 72 years since the Nakba, or catastrophe, when 800,000 Palestinians were expelled by Zionist militias or fled their towns and villages, in a massive ethnic cleansing campaign to make way for Israel.
Harba Abu Zakri is a survivor. The 105-year-old woman says she was born during the locust outbreak of 1915. She vividly remembers how Zionist paramilitary forces killed her father, brother, sister and nephew. “We were on our land. We left to escape the gunfire,” Harba told The Electronic Intifada. “My God, people witnessed so much suffering. They killed many people.”
Harba recalls life before Zionist colonialism. “In our old life, we lived off our land. We would sow and study seeds, harvest and eat.” She was 2 years old when the British Empire issued the Balfour Declaration, expressing support for the Zionist movement to take over Palestine.“The British left and they came immediately because of the Balfour Declaration. They left and the others arrived,” she told The Electronic Intifada. “People thought victory was coming to Palestine, but we saw Israeli tanks come towards people.”
Harba now lives in Nuseirat refugee camp in the central Gaza Strip, still remembering Palestine vividly.