On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of Land Day (Yom-el-Ard), the Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) sends militant greetings to the heroic Palestinian people who continue their steadfast defence of their right to be and their resistance to the Zionist occupiers.
On March 30, 1976, Palestinians living in villages in the Galilee region declared a general strike and protested against land confiscations. At that time, Israel had embarked on a national project to construct new Jewish-Israeli localities in the region that included lands of Palestinian citizens. Israel responded with state violence, killing six Palestinians. A total of 20,000 dunams (2,000 hectares) were confiscated at that time.
Since then, the land confiscations and other heinous crimes against the Palestinians have continued. The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics informs that Israel now illegally controls more than 85 per cent of historical Palestine, an area of about 27,000 square kilometres. Palestinians comprise 48 per cent of the total population but utilize only 15 per cent of the land, it notes.On March 30, 1976, Palestinians living in villages in the Galilee region declared a general strike and protested against land confiscations. At that time, Israel had embarked on a national project to construct new Jewish-Israeli localities in the region that included lands of Palestinian citizens. Israel responded with state violence, killing six Palestinians. A total of 20,000 dunams (2,000 hectares) were confiscated at that time.
This year’s Land Day actions come amidst intensifying land confiscations, state terrorism and other violations of rights that Israel carries out with impunity.
Earlier this month, Israel declared 2,342 dunams of land to the south of Jericho “state land” to pave the way for the construction of 358 housing units in the illegal settlement of Almog. This land confiscation followed another of around 5,000 dunams of Palestinian land in Bethlehem district in 2014.
Arab Member of the Knesset Aida Touma-Sliman explained to Mondoweiss at a Land Day action in the Negev “50,000 Arab houses are under demolition orders, villages are ordered to be evacuated and demolished.””In the northern region near the site of the first Land Day protest, confiscations often take place by way of bureaucratic zoning procedures – “it’s village by village, and it’s house by house,” Touma-Sliman said. “All that can be confiscated [in the north] is almost all already confiscated, that’s why we are focusing on the Negev now,” she added.
The High Follow-up Committee for Arab Citizens in Israel urged citizens to join rallies and other Land Day activities, including a major rally in the village of Um al-Heiran in the Negev and another in the village of Arraba al-Batouf in the Galilee.
This year, Land Day marches were held in the West Bank opposing a land grab near the Jordan Valley, with a main march held in Bethlehem. Israeli military forces harassed and attacked demonstrators at checkpoints throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.
CPC(M-L) calls on all justice-loving people to take part in actions to mark Land Day and defend the Palestinian people’s right to be.
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This article from our archives provides essential information on the vital issue of land and the rising of 1976, when the Palestinian citizens of Israel revolted against the Israeli government, which had just announced new and extensive land expropriation plans in the Galilee:
Land Day Calendar of Events
The Day of the Land
Saturday, April 2 — 5:00 – 8:00 pm
Concordia University, Hall Building H110
Organized by: Palestinian Cultural Club of Montreal
Annual Commemoration of Land Day
Saturday, April 9 — 7:00-11:00 pm
Capitol Banquet Hall — 6435 Dixie Rd.
For information: Palestine House, 905-270-3622
Day of the Land Potluck Dinner
Sunday, April 3 — 5:30 pm
Edmonton Islamic Academy 14525 127 Street
For information: CPCA website
Picket the Jewish National Fund JNF Dinner
Sunday, April 10 — 4:45 pm
For information: Facebook
Sponsored by: BDS Vancouver-Coast Salish and Canada
(With files from Maan News, Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, Mondoweiss. Photos: Palestine Info, M. Asad, Anadolou Agency)