JAI Statement on the Palestinian Land Day
On the 30th of March 1976, a general strike and marches were organized by the Palestinian communities in multiple areas in the Palestinian cities of the Negev, Galilee, Triangle, to protest the continued Israeli settler colonialism policies and the declaration of annexation of some 5,500 Acres of Palestinian lands in Israel. Forty-six years ago, six Palestinians were killed and 70 were injured by the Israeli police and military forces in the Palestinian towns in Israel.
Five decades later, land seizures remain an essential part of Israeli policy that can be seen regularly applied in area ‘C’ within the West Bank, that is under the full Israeli control. As a result of such measures, and the continued attacks on these lands, and inaccessibility to basic services provided to the people living there, most of the Palestinians have been forced to leave the area that is now considered de facto annexed to the occupying state of Israel.
Seizing land over the last 55 years by the Israeli military occupation has squeezed the Palestinian population, of some 5.3 million, to live in less that 9% of Mandate Palestine. Land seizures also brought to an end the two-state solution that was always supported by the world community as the only possible solution to the Palestinian Question.
As we commemorate the Palestinian Land Day, we, at the JAI, strongly condemn Israel’s policies and practices of seizing the Palestinian land. We believe that the attack on the people we serve in their land along with all the other occupation practices, deprive Palestinians of their basic human rights as articulated in the international Law. We express through our deep commitment to continue working towards ending the prevailing violations and oppressions and bringing about a just peace.
In this day we call on our partners and friends to be engaged in working towards a just peace and ask them to:
- Condemn the Israeli land annexation policy
- Promote the Palestinian right to access and use their land and Properties
- Write to your MPs on the need to defend the rights of the Palestinian People and hold Israel accountable to its obligations under the international humanitarian Law
Support, promote and sponsor the Keep Hope Alive – Olive Tree Campaign, to help Palestinian farmers, access, maintain and save their land.
*The JAI is the Joint Advocacy Initiative of the East Jerusalem YMCA and the YWCA of Palestine.