JAI Statement on Palestinian Land Day
Yom Al-Ard, also known as Land Day, in which the Palestinians commemorate the killing of six Palestinians during protests against Israeli land expropriation on March 30, 1976. The protests caused Israeli officials to temporarily halt their land confiscation projects but they resumed after the Oslo Accords were signed.
Since then, Land Day has become a symbol of resistance and resilience for Palestinians, who have been subjected to ongoing land confiscation and displacement by the Israeli occupation.
Palestinians have a deep connection to their land, which is more than simply a physical location; it is a vital component of their identity, history, and culture. Additionally, they typically plant olive trees. The olive tree, which has been grown in Palestine for over 6,000 years, is a symbol of the Palestinian people’s endurance and steadfastness in the face of occupation and displacement.
It is important to note that the Palestinian land is de facto annexed by Israel, and the situation in Palestine remains severe, with continued oppression, settlement, expansion and construction, and Israeli government violations of international law. Palestinians continue to be denied basic human rights and access to their own land, which Israeli military and settlers are confiscating and colonizing.
As we approach this year’s Land Day, it is critical to remember the Palestinian people’s ongoing struggles and to stand in solidarity with them. We invite Joint Advocacy Initiative, East Jerusalem YMCA and YWCA of Palestine partners and friends to join us in supporting the Palestinian cause for freedom and justice. We ask you to lobby your policy makers to hold Israel accountable for its crimes against the Palestinian people and to respect and defend the Palestinian people’s right to self-determination and return to their homes and lands.
One way to support the Palestinian cause is through the JAI’s Olive Tree Campaign (Facebook page: OliveTreeCampaign). The olive tree is a vital component of Palestinian agriculture, economy, and tradition. Olive trees are more than just a source of food and revenue for many Palestinian families. Olive trees are frequently regarded as family members, and caring for them is a labour of love – an act of resistance against the Israeli occupation and land confiscation.
As Mahmoud Darwish said, “We have on this land that which makes this life worth living.” Therefore, on this Land Day, let us remember the struggles of the past and commit to working towards a better future for the Palestinian people.
KEEP HOPE ALIVE