On 30th March each year, the Palestinian people commemorate the anniversary of Land Day, the day in March 1976 on which the Zionist occupation government confiscated thousands of dunums* of Palestinian land in the Galilee, leading to the displacement of the Palestinian people living inside the 1948 occupied territories (so-called Israel). A general strike and peaceful demonstrations ensued in various villages as the Palestinian people began to defend their confiscated land. Six Palestinians were killed, 100 were wounded [and hundreds of others arrested].
The strategic plan of all Zionist governments has been to confiscate the land, isolate the Palestinian people into limited zones and complicate their situation in an effort to force them to emigrate.
In east Jerusalem, 34% of the land was directly confiscated, 52% was considered a green zone, an area in which it was forbidden for Palestinians to build, even as they were forced to pay high annual taxes to the Zionist municipality for their unused land. If they failed to pay the required taxes, the municipality sold it. The buyers, of course, were always Zionist settlement organizations.
- If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you must pay a fee of over $25,000.00 to the Zionist municipality to obtain permission to build your home. If this fee isnĺt paid, or if you build without permission, bulldozers stand ready to demolish your home.
- If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you do not have the right to repair or redesign your house. If you do, it would have been cheaper to buy a house in the West Bank than to pay the violation fees.
- If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, close your shop; you will not be able to pay the required taxes to the municipality to keep it open. Twenty-five percent of the shops in East Jerusalem are now closed.
- If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, and married to someone from the West Bank, your spouse will not be allowed to live with you in East Jerusalem; if you want to live with your husband or wife, you must move to the West Bank.
- If you are a Palestinian living in West Bank, Gaza or abroad, you are not allowed to work in or visit Jerusalem.
- If you are a Palestinian in East Jerusalem, you can go to the hellů this is the Jewish Promised Land.
Thirty-four years have passed since the first Land Day event, and the confiscation of Palestinian land continues, and an independent state for the Palestinian people remains a dream.
* A dunum (or 'dunamĺ) of land equals 1000sq. meters.