Friday 31 March 2023 - 02:02

Land Day Lives On: Palestinians Honor 47th Anniversary with Nationwide Events

By Batoul Wehbe
Story Code : 1049722
Land Day Lives On: Palestinians Honor 47th Anniversary with Nationwide Events
Against the backdrop of Israeli authorities’ ongoing policies of confiscation, home demolitions, and displacement, supposedly based on claims of unauthorized construction or non-recognition of Palestinian ownership of land they have inherited and owned since before the Nakba in 1948, this year’s commemoration takes on added significance.

At present, the Zionist ideology is more explicitly embracing the principle of “more land and fewer Arabs,” particularly in light of recent developments in the Negev region and the occupied West Bank. The challenges confronting Palestinians are increasingly dire, given the extremist Israeli government’s persistent attempts to Judaize more Palestinian land, annex it to the occupying state, and establish additional settlements and settlement blocs.

Today, Thursday, marks the anniversary day, a solemn occasion that the Palestinians commemorate with a series of activities and events. The event serves as a reminder of the vast areas of their land that the Israeli authorities confiscated, sparking a struggle that still rages today.

In commemoration, Arab-Palestinians are organizing a central march in the city of Sakhnin in the Lower Galilee to renew their pledge to the land, as per the organizers’ announcement.

The Higher Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens in ‘Israel’, the highest unitary representative body for the Arabs, has called for a central and unitary march in Sakhnin to commemorate the 47th anniversary of Land Day, with tens of thousands expected to participate.

The committee’s head, Muhammad Baraka, emphasized that the march signifies the renewal of the covenant to the land and homeland, intending to defend their children, lives, homes, and their beloved homeland, which they have no other place to call their own.

However, Baraka warned that the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is the most right-wing government in the history of the Jewish state, with plans that pose an existential danger and threat to the Palestinians through its legislation and policies. “The government has even claimed that there are no Palestinian people, and it has deployed heavily armed gangs in their villages and historic cities,” he said in a statement.

This anniversary usually sees thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in popular demonstrations, brandishing Palestinian flags, and calling for justice and peace.

Yesterday, Wednesday, dozens of children in Gaza participated in a scout march to commemorate the Land Day, raising Palestinian flags, as well as banners emphasizing their right to return to the lands from which their ancestors were expelled.

Standing Strong, The Fight for Land Continues

Palestinian factions consistently emphasize that land is the primary focal point and driving force in their confrontation with the Israeli occupation, which continues to pursue its endeavours to Judaize, confiscate, and alter the land’s character, and the continuation of these efforts is nothing short of a dangerous game with fire.

Hamas Representative in Lebanon Ali Barakah told Al-Manar TV that the Israeli entity is currently grappling with a significant predicament, as it confronts internal disintegration, which is not limited to its military apparatus but pervades the entire Zionist social fabric.

“The pronounced schism between the so-called extreme religious right and the Israeli center-left continuum betrays the vertical cleavage that besets this entity,” Barakah said, noting that such a state of confusion and schism within the enemy’s ranks provides an opening for the Palestinian resistance to assert itself and gain leverage.

“This deepening schism within the Zionist entity not only affects the military, but also the Israeli society as a whole, exposing the fragility of the so-called Jewish state,” he said.

Barakah also noted to Al-Manar’s Maa Al-Hadath program that the increasing polarization between the extreme religious right and the center-left further exacerbates the divide, leaving the enemy vulnerable and weakened. “This state of confusion and conflict provides fertile ground for the Palestinian resistance to exploit and advance their cause,” he asserted.

It’s worth noting that the Zionist entity is currently facing an internal crisis that could potentially lead to a civil war and result in the dissolution of the Israeli state, as Israeli President Isaac Herzog has cautioned. The conflict, which prompted a massive wave of protests and paralysis, is between a government coalition led by Benjamin Netanyahu, including religious and ultranationalist groups, and opposition from secular and right-wing parties at odds with Netanyahu.

For his part, Suhail al-Hindi, a member of Hamas’ political bureau, recently stated in an interview with Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed that the land is everything to the Palestinians, symbolizing their history, memories, future, dignity, faith, religion, and fundamental principles. Palestinians cannot concede even an inch of their land, which is deeply embedded in their consciousness.

According to al-Hindi, it is impossible to partition the land that has been steeped in the blood of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians and Arabs. Palestinians derive the value of the land from its Arab identity, and no outsiders can settle in it. The claims of some Israeli extremists that the Palestinian land is the promised land are nothing more than falsehoods and fabrications.

Al-Hindi acknowledges that there may be tactical differences among Palestinian factions, but they are united in their steadfast determination to resist the occupier and reclaim their land without relinquishing any part of it.

Similarly, Ahmed Al-Mudallal, a member of the political bureau of the Islamic Jihad movement, explains that “Land Day” is a national day for Palestinians to affirm their attachment, roots, and adherence to their land. He adds that the attempts to steal the Palestinian land by the Israeli occupation began before 1948. “However, the Palestinian people affirmed their roots in their land and made great sacrifices, and thousands were martyred until the start of Land Day in 1976,” he said.
Al-Mudallal stresses that the Palestinian people are continuing their resistance, and can only stop it by expelling the occupation from the land of their fathers and grandfathers.

Munther al-Hayek, spokesman for the Fatah movement in the Gaza Strip, states that the conflict with the Israeli occupation is a struggle over existence and on the ground.

When Balfour promised the Zionist entity to establish a state on the land of Palestine in 1917, the goal was to control the land and displace the people. The conflict has extended to Christian and Islamic sanctities through various practices and attacks in Palestinian cities. Al-Hayek considers, in an interview with Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed, that “Land Day” a day of confrontation, challenge, and steadfastness. He affirms that the land belongs to the Palestinian owners who are historically linked to it.
“It is the beginning of the renewal of the covenant and the decision to continue the struggle process and field action until the liberation of the land and people from the usurper occupation,” he said.

The Palestinian people’s unyielding attachment to their land is rooted in a deep-seated sense of identity, history, and dignity that makes any attempt to Judaize, steal, or alter it an affront to their very existence.

As such, the Palestinian factions stand united in their unwavering commitment to the defense of their land, which they view not just as a physical space but as a symbol of their hopes and aspirations for a better future.

In the face of ongoing threats to their sovereignty and territorial integrity, including the continued expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank, the Palestinian people remain resolute in their determination to achieve their goals, foremost among them the establishment of a state on their own land in accordance with the principles of international law and humanitarian norms. With Palestine now an observer member of the United Nations, the global community has a responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Palestinian people in their struggle for self-determination and justice.