Palestinians Commemorate Land Day

April 5, 2010

On March 30, Palestinians throughout the occupied West Bank and Gaza and inside the state of Israel held marches, mass meetings and other actions to commemorate Land Day which, since 1976, has been a day of protest against Israel's ongoing expropriation of Palestinian land.

This year, demonstrations and other activities were organized in Sakhnin and other areas inside Israel as well as in Jerusalem, Ramallah, Nablus, and across the West Bank and in Gaza.

These mass actions come at a time when Israel, financed and armed by the U.S., is openly annexing large sections of the West Bank, building an Apartheid Wall across the West Bank, expanding its illegal settlements and working to create "facts on the ground" which would eliminate the possibility of creating a viable Palestinian state.

In recent years, Israel has escalated its destruction of Palestinian homes as part of its annexation of Palestinian land.  According to a report recently released by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), approximately 23,100 housing units have been destroyed in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip in the last 40 years, with 13,400 of them having been destroyed in the last decade.  Thousands more housing units and buildings were destroyed in the 2008 war on Gaza. 

Israel has set up a "buffer zone" inside the Gaza Strip with a width of more than 1,500 meters and a length of 58 km; the zone will effectively place 24% of Gaza under Israeli control. 

Israel continues to increase its settlements in the occupied territories. Already, according to the PCBS report, "the percentage of settlers in the Palestinian Territory according to 2008 data equaled 17.2% of the total persons living in the West Bank." 

In addition, Israel is continuing to build its Apartheid Wall across the West Bank. The wall will extend over 400 miles and it already cuts deep into Palestinian towns and villages, confiscating Palestinian land and allowing Israel to de facto annex more territory.