Photo above: Leaders of Palestinian citizens of Apartheid Israel (Sheikh Raid Salah second from right) during Land Day march in Jaffa - March 30th, 2008
Each 30th of March, Palestinians from all over the world commemorate Land Day with demonstrations in order to remind the international community of the ongoing Israeli injustice and oppression against them. Land Day (Yom al-Ard in Arabic), was initially established to honour the killing by Israeli troops of six Palestinians in the Galilee on 30 March 1976, during peaceful protests over the confiscation of Palestinian land from villages in this area.
However, as land confiscation is part of a larger policy of Israeli colonialism in the Palestinian Territories, it has now become a day of demonstration to link all Palestinians in their struggle against the occupation and for self-determination and national liberation.
Following 32 years since the original Land Day demonstration, Israeli policy has not changed: land confiscation and house demolitions are going on constantly, to make room for illegal settlement expansion and bypass roads that are restricted exclusively to the settlers. Only in the past week, six homes were demolished in three villages of the southern hills of Hebron, as part of a larger policy of deportation in this area, begun with the expansion of local settlements in the 1990s. An additional six homes in villages located to the southwest of Jenin were demolished without previous warnings or orders. On the same day, another three homes were demolished in the al-Jeeb village, located in the Jerusalem district, in order to make space for the new settlements and construction of the Separation Wall.
This situation bestows the right for all Palestinians to raise some demands of their leaders. If democratic policy should be based on the principle of accountability, it’s now the time for the Palestinian Authority to give the electorate an account of its work. Citizens should receive an answer to their legitimate question of ‘where are we going?’ The PA leadership knows full well that the demands of the Palestinian people are not just for food, work and salary, but are first and foremost political demands, for freedom, justice, self determination, the right of return and the establishment of a real and sovereign state.
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