The Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) said on Thursday that 42 years since Palestinians in Israel demonstrated against Israeli seizure of their land and lost six of their young people shot dead by Israeli forces, the Palestinian people continue to endure destruction, displacement and humanization.
In March 1976, the Israeli government announced its decision to expropriate thousands of dunums of land belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel. Consequently, thousands of indigenous Palestinians from the Galilee to the Naqab demonstrated against such a move, and on March 30, six Palestinian citizens of Israel were murdered and hundreds were injured by members of the Israeli army and police.
PLO Executive Committee member Hanan Ashrawi said in a statement on the 42nd anniversary of Land Day that 42 years later, “the Palestinians in all of historical Palestine continue to endure destruction, displacement and dehumanization at the hands of the right-wing and extremist Israeli government and its unlawful policies and draconian measures.”
Ashrawi said that “by means of its egregious violations, primarily the persistent annexation of land and the expansion of the illegal settlement enterprise, military checkpoints and apartheid walls in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel is acting with impunity and prolonging the military occupation. It is also causing grave suffering for its Palestinian citizens with discriminatory and unjust laws, proposals and measures and denying them of their basic and fundamental rights as citizens of Israel.”
Nonetheless, said the PLO official, “all Palestinians, whether in the West Bank (including occupied East Jerusalem), Gaza, 1948 Israel, or in exile, remain steadfast and committed to the land and to defending their inalienable rights and legitimate aspirations for freedom and self-determination.”
Ashrawi concluded: “As we observe this national day and honor our brothers and sisters who were murdered, we pay tribute to the Palestinian people everywhere for their courage and resilience in the face of Israeli racism, colonialism and violence.
“With every obstacle and barrier implemented by Israel, we will persevere and provide hope in the face of devastation and despair.
“We remain committed to popular non-violent activism and political, legal and diplomatic efforts, and we will persist in the struggle for our freedoms, rights and dignity.”