By: Rana Setiawan, Journalist of MINA News Agency
Palestinians on Tuesday, March 30, are commemorating 45 years of Land Day by holding demonstrations and peaceful marches held in several Arab cities within the Israeli colony, especially in cities where the events of the Palestinian people defend land so as not to be illegally confiscated by the Israel in 1976.
The main agenda for the commemoration takes place in the afternoon in the cities of Sakhnin, Arrabeh, Deir Hanna, Kufr Kanna, and Taybeh, all in the northern Israeli colony.
Palestinians visit the graves of their son who was killed by Israeli police in 1976 and march through the towns, with the main march centered on the city of Arrabeh.
Land Day is celebrated annually by Palestinians since March 30, 1976, to commemorate those who died defending their land from being illegally confiscated by the Israeli Occupation Authority.
According to the official statement of the Palestinian Embassy in Indonesia, Palestine Land Day is a day that Palestinians commemorate every year on March 30. Palestine Land Day is commemorated to remind the Palestinian people of the actions of the Israeli Zionist regime which has seized thousands of hectares of public and individual land in various regions of Palestine.
On March 30, 1976, in response to the Israeli government’s announcement of a plan to take over thousands of hectares of land for the benefit of the state, it prompted Arab citizens in Palestine to declare mass strikes and demonstrations from Galilee to the Negev until clashes resulted in the deaths of six Palestinians and hundreds of people others were injured and arrested.
Palestine Land Day is considered an important event of the Palestinian land struggle in the political relationship between Arab citizens and the Zionist regime. This was the first major resistance by the Palestinian people to the Israeli regime, since Israel first established its occupation of Palestine in 1948.
Israel Seizes 85 Percent of Historic Palestinian Territories
Forty-five years after the occupation regime’s crimes and plundering thousands of hectares of Palestinian land, the Zionist regime now occupies 85 percent of the historic territory of Palestine.
Occupying 85% of the geography of Palestine, the population composition of the occupied territories has also changed significantly. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics reported on the 45th anniversary of Palestine Lands Day that the number of Jewish settlers in the West Bank had reached 688,262 settlers by the end of 2019; with a growth rate of nearly 2.6%.
The data shows that around 46% of the settlers live in the City of Al-Quds area, where their number reaches around 316,176 settlers; while 232,093 settlers living in occupied East Al-Quds.
With regard to demographics, the proportion of settlers to the Palestinian population in the West Bank is around 23 settlers per 100 Palestinians, and the highest number of settlers is in the City of Al-Quds area, where there are 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians.
In other words, the Zionist regime’s focus is on the City of Al-Quds as it seeks to fully occupy the place where the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, something that is somehow embodied in the plan of the Deal of the Century that US President Donald Trump initiated last year which fully claims Al-Quds belong to the Israeli Occupation authorities.
As 13.7 Million Total Population of Palestine
The Palestinian Central Statistics Agency (PCBS) also reported that the estimated number of Palestinians at the end of 2020 is around 13.7 million; around 5.2 million of them live in the State of Palestine and about 1.6 million Palestinians live in the 1948 territory. Also about 6.2 million Palestinians live in Arab countries, while nearly 738,000 Palestinians live abroad.
Palestinians annually commemorate Land Day on March 30 commemorating the six Palestinians who were shot and killed by Israeli police and dozens of others injured. It was that day in 1976 when they staged a demonstration against the government’s plan to seize 21,000 dunums (21 square kilometers) of their land, and to illustrate the determination of the Palestinian people to defend their ancestral lands.
The West Bank Still Isolated
Israel’s seizure of Palestinian land is not limited to Arab cities within Israeli colonies.
According to the PCBS report, the Israeli occupation authorities used the classification of occupied West Bank lands according to the 1993 Oslo Accords (Regions A, B, and C) to tighten control over Palestinian land, especially in areas classified as (Region C), which are located under the full control of the Israeli occupation in terms of security, planning and construction. As much as 76% of the total area classified as (region C) is directly exploited by the Israeli military occupation government with illegal settlement councils controlling 63% of it.
At the same time, Israeli settlements in the West Bank have jurisdiction over 542 square kilometers of West Bank land by the end of 2020; represents about 10% of the total area of the West Bank.
The area confiscated for the purpose of military bases and military training sites represents about 18% of the West Bank’s area, in addition to the annexation and construction of a racial wall that has isolated more than 10% of the West Bank.
As a result, more than 219 Palestinian areas were badly affected by the erection of the Racial Wall, and the expansion of annexation.
Also the Israeli occupation authorities seized around 8,830 dunums of Palestinian land, in addition to 11,200 other dunums declared as nature reserves by the Israeli occupation authorities in preparation for their confiscation.
The Increase of Illegal Settlement’s Construction
At the end of 2019, there were 461 Israeli occupation sites and military bases in the West Bank, including 151 settlements and 26 military outposts that were deemed to be “neighborhoods” after settlements were built, in addition to 140 settlement security posts.
In 2020 was a significant increase in the pace of construction and expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank. The Israeli Occupation Authority approved the construction of 6,719 new residential housing units in addition to plans for 12,159 colonial units over the same year and 11 new settlement security posts were approved to be erected on illegally confiscated Palestinian land.
The Israeli occupation continues in the process of confiscating and stealing Palestinian land which last took place in the Bethlehem area and the City of Al-Quds (Jerusalem), including Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan.
Meanwhile, the Judaism of the City of Al-Quds and the Al-Aqsa Mosque is getting crazy. Eviction of land and buildings went on almost without a hitch. Revocation of the identity of the Palestinian population at any time can happen. Slowly but surely the Israeli occupation has changed the demographics of Al-Quds.
This is inconsistent with international law, international humanitarian law and related UN resolutions.
Therefore, the international community must assume responsibility for Palestine and the Palestinian people, by preventing Israel from committing human rights violations and crimes committed against humans, plants and rocks. (AT/RE1)
Mi’raj News Agency (MINA)