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After 71 years, Abu Ibrahim still hopes to return to his home

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Ever since 1948, Abu Ibrahim has been waiting to return to the simple house that he and his father built in their village which was occupied by nascent Israeli occupation forces and turned into a moshav agricultural settlement. Although he has lost most of his relatives and friends who fled the village with him, he still has hope that one day he will go back.

“If I do not go back alive in order to live in my house,” he told MEMO on the eve of the 71st anniversary of his personal Nakba, “I hope to go back dead and be buried in the village cemetery.”

Mohammad Ibrahim Al-Najjar — known by his kunya Abu Ibrahim — is now 88 years old. His memories of his village, Yasur, include how he and his relatives and friends were ethnically cleansed under heavy fire by Jewish terror gangs.

According to Abu Ibrahim, all the Palestinians at the time lived a “simple” and “stable” life in their villages and cities across historic Palestine. “Like most of the other villages,” he explained, “in Yasur we lived on farming and our animals. Those living in the cities used to work in factories and transportation.”

READ: The moral travesty of Israel demanding Arab and Iranian money for its own ‘Nakba’

Yasur was a Palestinian village 40 kilometres north-east of the Gaza Strip. The Zionists drove out its residents — over 1,000 of them — at gunpoint in June 1948 and built the moshav called Talmei Yechi. Its residents fled to other villages and passed through Al-Majdal, now Ashkelon, before reaching Gaza where they stayed. Today, they and their descendants living as refugees in Gaza and the wider diaspora are estimated to total more than 7,000 people.

When Abu Ibrahim was old enough to understand that British occupation of Palestine, he asked his father about the military presence on three sides of his village. “In the west,” he........

© Middle East Monitor