Palestine Update 457
Land Day: Palestinians mark the 45th anniversary
On 30 March 1976; six Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces as hundreds of Arab citizens in the occupied territory took to the streets to protest Israel’s expropriation and occupation of Palestinian lands. The event became known as the Land Day and a symbol of national struggle that unites Palestinians around the world. Forty-five years later, Palestinians say that not much has changed, as Israel continues its policy of annexation.
The commemoration of Land Day remains as important as ever because in addition to remembering Palestinian resistance, it is a stark reminder of how the control of freedom and land control is exercised is an integral aspect of the Zionist settler-colonial project. Indeed, settler colonial states the world over are in a constant process of colonizing more and more indigenous land while squeezing indigenous peoples into as little space as possible. In Palestine, the colonization and appropriation of land has been continuous since the establishment of Israel and today it is accelerating at an astonishing speed.
The articles we have produced are well worth a full read. The commemoration of Land Day is historic and a symbolism of a struggle which will end only when the occupation is shattered.
Land Day: overview of struggles and violations imposed upon Palestinian farmers, fisherpersons, and herders.
Prior to the war of 1948, Palestinians owned approximately 78% of the total area of historical Palestine, the remaining were state land “as classified by British mandate at that time.
Today, in 2021, Israelis constitute 52% of the total population in historical Palestine but utilizes over 85% of the total land, while Palestinians comprised 48% of the population and utilize 15% of the land (PCBs, press release, 2019) this drastic change of percentages indicates actions of land theft in Palestinian lands by the “Israeli” occupation. Between the years 1967 and 2017, 200 settlements have been established, 131 of which are officially announced as towns, along with 11 neighborhoods in East Jerusalem, and 16 other settlements in Gaza.
Settlements in the West Bank have over 620,000 residents, 413,400 of which happen to be in the illegal settlements of the West Bank. These settlements stretch on over 538,127 dunums and makeup to 10% of the West Bank. Another 1,650,376 dunums of the West Bank are under “Israeli” leverage, thus the settlements are controlling 40% of the West Bank. , the total of theft of land -classified as high or medium agricultural value- in the West Bank is 2,072 thousand dunums, constituting about 37% of the West Bank.
The Palestinians use only 931.5 thousand dunums which constitute about 17% of the West Bank area. (PCBS, press release, 2019) “Israel” has been pursuing an annexation plan -which started in 1967. Annexed areas that include 106,000 Palestinians who fall under the rule of the “Israeli” occupation in area C and Jordan Valley which is one of “Israel’s” main target in its annexation plan, it makes up to 50% of the agricultural areas in and “Israel” has already seized 88% of the valley, preventing Palestinians from any benefits or use of these lands.
Israeli occupying forces quell Land Day rally in West Bank town
Israeli occupation forces today quelled a peaceful rally marking the 45th anniversary of Land Day in the town of Sebastia, north of the West Bank city of Nablus. Forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades towards the participants who commemorated Land Day causing many to suffocate due to excessive tear gas inhalation. The participants in the rally called for commemorating Land Day in Sebastia because of the ongoing violations practiced by the Israeli army and settlers against it and their attempts to take over its archaeological site.
On the occasion of Land Day, Israel forcibly laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of historical Palestine
“Israel, since 1948, laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of the lands of historical Palestine at a time when Jews in the era of the pre-1948 British Mandate exploited only 1,682 square kilometers, or 6.2% of the lands of historical Palestine, today said the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the 45th anniversary of Land Day.”
Land Day 2021: Thought Israel’s cleansing of Palestinians couldn’t get any worse? You were wrong
“Today, Palestinians inside Israel continue to see their land confiscated through less direct methods too, such as the denial of use, or through convoluted legal procedures. Building permits are limited and geographic expansion due to natural population growth is restricted. In the Negev, demolition of residences belonging to the Palestinian Bedouin community is almost a weekly occurrence. Nowadays, you could probably drive from Tel Aviv to the Dead Sea deep in the West Bank without seeing many Palestinians. Although the majority in the region, we were systematically turned into “absent-presentees”, confined into little enclaves surrounded and separated by settlements, Israelis-only roads, and security/military zones. Ironically, such “facts on the ground” make the occupation nearly invisible to the novice eye. Particularly disturbing this year is the all-time high in measures to cleanse Jerusalem of its Palestinian population. Since 1967, they have lived under a precarious legal system, neither as Israeli citizens nor as Palestinians with similar legal status as their peers inside Israel, or the West Bank and Gaza.”