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On Land Day Protestors Hold Their Ground

March 2015

For several months brave activists and residents have built protest tents outside of the Jerusalem gate in  Eizaria.  The Israeli military has destroyed their tents 11 times—but each time the determined activists build them again.  They are saying no to an Israeli plan remove 2,500 Bedouins shepherds from their land, their homes and their traditional way of life while also displacing fellow Palestinians in Abu Dis and Eizaria.  What will Israel do with the land in an area they term “E1” to the North and East of Jerusalem?  Expand its largest illegal settlement: Maale Adumin.

Grassroots International’s partner Stop the Wall Campaign is part of this brave effort.  Stop the Wall Campaign unites efforts of non-governmental organizations and neighborhood committees that struggle against the Separation Wall and oppose the resource confiscation of Palestinians living under occupation. 

Jamal Juma, the director of Stop the Wall, speaks of the determination of Palestinians in the face of years of forced evictions.

“Their plan to tear the West Bank apart, ethnically cleanse Jerusalem and further subject Palestinians everywhere to violence, intimidation, humiliation and dispossession, will always be met with resistance. Palestinians will never forget the crimes that have been committed against us, and will never stop o for justice and freedom.”

March 30 is celebrated as Land Day, the date in 1976 when Israel announced plans to confiscate thousands of dunums of land. (A dunum is a thousand square meters.)  Palestinians organized marches and protests to stand up for the land where generations have lived, farmed, planted olive trees and raised their children.

On holidays—whether somber or celebratory—we usually do something different from our daily routine.  On Land Day though, Palestinians in the West Bank do what they do every day. They hold their ground against evictions, confiscations, and demolitions. As our partners tell us, to exist is to resist, and so long as Israel continues to build illegal settlements, every day is Land Day. You can make an impact this Land Day by supporting the grassroots initiatives that provide essential services and advance the human rights to land, water and food in Palestine. Make a gift today!

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