Palestinian Land Day: Struggle for Land, Freedom and National Dignity

Statement for the 47th Anniversary of Land Day in Palestine by the Arab Region and North Africa of La Via Campesina

March 30, 2023 | This year, the Palestinians commemorate the forty-seventh anniversary of the Eternal Land Day. Palestinians and all peoples eager for liberation and against all forms of colonialism commemorate on the thirtieth of March of each year, in occupied Palestine, the diaspora and the world – the memory of the Eternal Land Day. This commemoration dates back to 1976, where the first direct confrontation took place between the Palestinians on the one hand; the Zionist occupation since 1948. Its result was the killing of six Palestinian martyrs. In addition to 49 wounded and about 300 detainees.

The beginning of the events goes back to the announcement by the Israeli occupation government headed by Yitzhak Rabin in 1975 of a plan to Judaize the Galilee region. The aim was to build Jewish colonies on land owned by the Palestinian Arab citizens who represent the majority in this area, under the name (Galilee Development Project).

In this context, on February 29, 1976, the Israeli occupation government approved the confiscation of 21,000 dunums of land belonging to Palestinian peasants from the towns of (Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, and Arab al-Sawaed). The land was allocated to build more Zionist colonies. The Israeli occupation authorities had already confiscated, between 1948 and 1972, more than one million dunums of lands of Arab villages in the Galilee and AL muthalath. This was in addition to the millions of other dunams it seized in 1948.

In the aftermath of the confiscation decision, the Land Defense Committee, which emerged from the local committees, met in the framework of a general meeting held in Nazareth on October 18, 1975. The Committee discussed the latest developments and ways to address the confiscation process. They agreed to declare a general and comprehensive strike for one day on March 30, 1976.

On March 29, 1976, the occupation authorities hastened to declare a curfew on the villages of (Sakhnin, Araba, Deir Hanna, Tur’an, Tamra, and Kabul). The Israeli occupation government declared all demonstrations illegal. They threatened to shoot the “instigators”, with the aim of preventing the implementation of the strike.

Poster for Land Day in Palestine (UAWC, 2023)

Since 1948, the occupation, through its various governments, seeks to eliminate the Palestinian presence through the systematic seizure of lands, dismemberment of them, demolishing homes and displacing their inhabitants to establish Zionist colonies in their place and judaizing the historical features of Palestine, until the number of Zionist settlements exceed 400, with about 800,000 Zionist settlers.

During the past year, the occupation established 25 settlements and 10 colonial outposts, confiscating an area of land estimated at 1,280 dunums. According to the Wall and Settlement Resistance Commission, since the beginning of this year, the occupation established two colonial outposts.

According to the data of the Higher Follow-up Committee (the supreme leadership body for the Palestinians of 48), the Israeli occupation seized about one million and 500 thousand dunums since its occupation of Palestine until 1976. Only about half a million dunums remained in their possession, in addition to millions of other dunums of land that it seized after a series of the horrific massacres and forced deportations perpetrated against the Palestinians in 1948.

Official data and statistics show that the occupation has seized 2,380,000 dunums since 1967. It seeks to increase the number of settlers until the end of 2030 to one million in the West Bank and Areas C. The Palestinian areas become disjointed islands, thus dismembering Jerusalem, Gaza, the West Bank, and the district. This has undermined the dream of establishing a Palestinian state and tightening economic control over the Palestinian territories.

Since the adoption of Resolution 2334 of the Security Council in 2016, which states that Israeli settlements constitute a “flagrant violation of international law,” the number of Zionist settlers in the West Bank and Jerusalem has increased by 12%.

Despite the passage of 47 years since this anniversary, the Palestinians of the 1948 lands, who numbered about 1.3 million in 1948, did not tire of commemorating Land Day. They unanimously agreed that this day was the most prominent of their days of struggle, and that it is a historical turning point in the course of their survival, belonging and identity since the Nakba of 1948, confirming their attachment to their homeland. and their land.

In the Peasants movement in the Arab region and North Africa (ARNA), we:

  • Support the Palestinian people’s right to sovereignty over their land and natural resources
  • Highlight the illegality of establishing Zionist colonies on Palestinian lands
  • Call for the lifting the blockade on the Gaza Strip
  • Demand the release of all Palestinian detainees in the occupation prisons
  • Call for solidarity with the Palestinian people in their resistance and struggle against the Zionist occupation

Let us raise the banner of the struggle for land high, freedom, food sovereignty, and the rights of peasants, and let us continue our struggle for that.

Glory and eternity to the martyrs of Land Day ! For Land, Freedom and National Dignity !