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On Palestinian Land Day, the Catastrophe Continues

March 2016

Today is Land Day in Palestine. It’s a day when Palestinians mark with protest the continual expropriation of their land. There is a lot to protest since Palestinians have been losing land for 68 years.  For Palestinians, the year 1948 is the year of the Nakba (or catastrophe) during which 700,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes, and land and hundreds of Palestinian villages were destroyed. 1967 marks the year when the state of Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza, East Jerusalem, the Syrian Golan Heights, and Sinai in Egypt. This year is known to Palestinians as the Naksa (or grief). Today, Israel continues with relentless plans to annex the Jordan Valley for illegal settlements. Amongst plans to forcibly remove Palestinians from their homes and land is Israel’s chillingly named “Relocation Plan” which will forcibly remove from their land 27,000 Bedouin people living in more than 47 communities. Just last week Israeli soldiers demolished 53 structures in the West Bank village of Khirbet Tana leaving 87 people homeless, nearly half of them children.   On Monday, Robert Piper, The UN Coordinator for Humanitarian and Development Activities for the occupied Palestinian territory, visited Khirbet Tana and said, “It’s hard to see how demolitions like the ones in Khirbet Tana are about anything other than pushing vulnerable Palestinians out of certain parts of the West Bank.” Palestinians have shown remarkable courage and resilience in the face of endless demolitions, as well as checkpoints, extrajudicial killings, night raids, arrest without charges, and more. The cry “to exist is to resist” has created an enduring steadfastness. You can support the people of Khirbet Tana and farmers facing demolition and land confiscation across the West Bank as they struggle to remain on their land by donating here.


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