On March 30th, as Palestinians in our homeland and the diaspora, we remember Land Day and strengthen our struggle for Land, Justice and Return. In 1976, 6 Palestinians were killed and a hundred injured by Israeli forces as Palestinians went on strike against a massive land confiscation scheme in the Galilee. Land theft and colonization continues in the Galilee and Naqab until today.
More than 30 years later, we will be again out in the streets and in the fields confronting the Occupation in dozens of protests and demonstrations, uniting the people in villages and cities across the West Bank in a week of continuous mobilization.
In the West Bank, including Jerusalem, the Apartheid Wall, settlements and their road system are de facto confiscating over half of our land and most of our water resources and agricultural fields. Israeli apartheid is creating something worse than Bantustans: open air prisons surrounded by 8-meter high cement walls and sealed by gates, checkpoints and terminals. Thousands of families are in danger of losing their homes to make space for Israeli colonization and entire communities are to be razed to the ground. Dispossessed farmers watch industrial estates growing on their land in a system designed to exploit and control.
Thanks to the unbroken resistance of the Iraqi people that has led the US and its allies into an impasse, diplomacy of the unipolar world focuses again on Palestine. Our homeland and people have become the card, which might save global imperialism from drowning in Iraq and Afghanistan. While the US-Israeli axis has never been willing to allow any of our rights to be implemented, the continuous presence in our region of US and Western envoys and officials is aimed to pressure Arab leaders into: Ending Arab support for the Right of Return, enshrined into international law (such as UN Resolution 194); Reviving the vicious Oslo mechanism that asks the Palestinian and Arab nations to make the first step: recognizing the Israeli apartheid regime and the “righteousness” of its crimes. Once relations are normalized and international public opinion is appeased, the reality on the ground can be consolidated and the agreement broken by the oppressors.
Against concessions on our inalienable rights and our lives, we will continue to claim our land. We will rise up and put forward our demands, based on the principles of our struggle and the rights of our people.
We demand from the delegates to the Arab summit and its leaders:
No concessions over the Right of Return and no normalization with Israel before Israel:
Recognizes its responsibility for the Palestinian catastrophe of 1948 (Nakba) and implements UN resolution 194 on the right of return;
Fully complies with the ICJ decision to remove the Wall and all associated constructions such as checkpoints, terminals and industrial zones, return all confiscated Palestinian land and grant due reparations;
Dismantles all settlements without exceptions. Ends the isolation of Jerusalem and reverses its Judaization;
Ends the isolation of and stranglehold on the Gaza Strip.
Stops the discrimination of our people that carry Israeli citizenship and returns their confiscated property while recognizing their rights as humans and especially as indigenous people.
We demand from the Palestinian National Authority and all of its institutions:
A clear and strong position at the Arab summit representing our demands above. Further, we ask to: Stop any meetings with the Occupation as long as they continue to build the Apartheid Wall, confiscate our land and imprison our people via checkpoints and terminals. Work at all levels to stop the ongoing expulsion and final destruction of 14 communities; in particular, Nu’man, Izbet at Tabib, Khirbet Zakariya, and Ein el-Juwezeh. Immediately denounce and attempt to prevent the daily house demolitions. Over 4,646 houses are under destruction orders in the West Bank, with 3,800 in Jerusalem alone. Stop abuse of our workers through middlemen and companies which steal part of the livelihoods of workers and their families, sharing the profits with Zionist employers.
Finally, the Occupation and the international community will receive our message via demonstrations and protests all over Palestine. It will be a message of continuing resistance and an uncompromising demand for our rights. Another popular Intifada is inevitably building up as long as our rights are ignored and our future confiscated.