On the anniversary of Land Day ... the land of Palestine calls out for freedom
A statement issued by the Land Research Center on the 45th anniversary of the Immortal Earth Day
On the obelisk of his laws, the Babylonian King Hammurabi (1793–1750 BC) wrote: “It is not permissible for a soldier, a fisherman, or any other employee to sell for dirhams the field, the orchard, and the house.” There is no doubt that this legislation considered the land and the house a basic human right. It is not a commodity to buy and sell.
But modern colonialism, especially the dissembling Zionist settler occupation of the land of Palestine, has made the land and housing commercial real estate, manipulating property rights in order to strip the right of the Palestinian people to their land and their sovereignty over it. The colonial settler project is replacing the indigenous people with Zionist settlers who brought them from all corners of the earth with a purely colonial purpose, dashing against the wall all the human rights treaties, humanitarian law and resolutions affirming legal norms, international legitimacy, the United Nations and world order.
Since the dawn of history, peoples have lived on the earth, but only the people of Palestine are those who celebrate Land Day, which has become a sacred holiday that expresses the attachment of this people to their land, no matter how long the occupation lasts. This occupation that has destroyed more than 170 thousand Palestinian homes and confiscated more than 21 million dunams of a country’s land with a surface area of about 27 million dunums only.
It has displaced about 65% of the people of Palestine, yet this people remains steadfast, clinging to its historic right to its land and national existence. This occupation has demolished the Bedouin village of al-Araqib in the Palestinian Negev for the 184th time, and the people of al-Araqib are preparing to rebuild for the one hundred and eighty-fifth time.
This occupation, which revealed the content of racism by building a wall with a length of more than 700 km to detain Palestinians in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967 AD, adding to it another 880 internal checkpoints to cut off their paths of movement, and then established on their occupied land some 538 settlements and settlement outposts, usurping the land.
But that wall is not only designed to enclose the people without its land. It is also precisely located to ban Palestinians from the discharge zone of the West Bank’s natural aquifer, their water, that other source of life.
On the forty-fifth anniversary of Land Day, while the Palestinian is isolated to escape the global epidemic, the bulldozers of the occupation rush to demolish more homes and facilities. Meanwhile, the occupation forces are actively searching for a way to register the land of Palestine in the names of strangers and transfer ownership to them. They have forgotten and forgotten that the land for the Palestinians is their destiny; it is their soul, and the soil is made sacred by the sanctity of the dust of the martyrs.
On this year`s Land Day, while the Palestinians are busy with their legislative elections, the occupation machine will not be distracted from demolishing Palestinian homes and building housing for settlers. So, let the Palestinian pay attention to his land and give the elections half an eye, and the rest to take care of his land. For there will be no parliament, government, or state if the Palestinians lose their land.
On this Land Day, as we salute the souls of the martyrs of the earth and the prisoners of freedom of struggle for the land, we must remind the occupier that the people of this land consider the Babylonians and the Canaanites as their forebears, and the children of this country’s stones the grandchildren of the ancients. The fragrance of the jasmine, the thyme and the mud that binds them to their place emit the same scents of the ancestors’ days. The Palestinians will be happy for a long time because they are the ones who will till this land, smiling at last.
Image: Land Day poster art (1985). Artist: Abdel Rahman al-Muzain, Palestine Liberation Organization.