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LAND DAY Statement issued by the Society for the Defense of the Rights of Internally Displaced Palestinians in Israel, 30 March 2001

Long Live the Eternal Land Day!

Yes to the Return of the Displaced

No to a Compromise on the Right of Return

Palestinians in 1948 Palestine/Israel commemorate the 25th anniversary of Land Day with a public strike, demonstrations and rallies, as well as visits to the graves of the martyrs of the first Land Day (1976) and the Al-Aqsa Intifada. They will plant olive trees in the coastal area, the Galilee, the “Triangle” and the Naqab in order to reaffirm the link between our people and our land, and our right to the restitution of property stolen by Israel even as Israel continues its arrogant policy of “Judaization” and confiscation of our remaining lands. Unjust Israeli laws have been adopted for the purpose of distributing properties stolen from us before, during and after the Palestinian Nakba of 1948. More than four million dunums of land belonging to displaced Palestinians are currently being transferred to the ownership of Jewish moshavim and kibbutzim established on our land after our displacement and the destruction of our homes in more than 531 Palestinian villages and towns. Palestinian homes and buildings that have remained in the towns of mixed Jewish-Palestinian population are considered “Absentee Properties” and offered for sale.

We affirm our commitment to our right of return, the return of all refugees and displaced to their lands and homes. We declare that we will reject resettlement and compensation projects. We reaffirm the illegality of unjust Israeli laws which contradict international law. We declare that all these laws legislated by the Zionist Israeli establishment are illegal, because we are not absentees; we are here, present on our land.

On the occasion of Land Day, we reaffirm that the innocent blood shed in the defense of our rights to live in dignity on our land will not be wasted, and that we will remain committed to the land and our country.

We thus call upon our people to make the general strike successful and to participate in the national protest activities announced by the High Monitoring Committee of the Palestinian community. We also call upon our people and the local committees of internally displaced Palestinians to conduct visits to the destroyed villages on the morning of Land Day.

We call upon our people to participate in the Jaffa Right-of-Return march to be held on 7 April, a day of international solidarity with the Palestinian refugees.

We also call upon our people to participate in the public march that will mark Israel’s “Independence Day” and our Palestinian Nakba (catastrophe) on 26 April 2001. The march will lead from Nazareth (Jaffa neighborhood) to the destroyed village of Ma’lul – and it will reaffirm our commitment to our right of return.

Long live the Land Day

Eternal Respect for our Innocent Martyrs

The Society for the Defense of the Rights of the Internally Displaced in Israel