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The Land in International day of Land
By: Mohammad Al-Sahli
April 5, 2017

According to the Zionist project supporters that many tasks are still under implementation as long as there are lands in the possession of Palestinians. They considered having the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, after what they have occupied from Palestine, as a "necessary" entry to plunder the rest of Palestinian land through colonizing by settlers and expanding their area of existence.

The same is in the 1948 territories, although they have taken almost everything through the displacement of the land owners and the restrictions on who remains of them through laws, legislation and procedures in the field that confirm that the Palestinian Nakba has not ended yet.

In order to complete their achievements, they and their allies tried to close the door before refugees' return to their homes and properties. This was evident by the deletion of reference to the relevant UN resolutions, especially Resolution 194. Since then, the settlement bulldozer has made its way with a record speed, while the settlement train is still puffing a lot of smoke without leaving the station.

On March 30, 1976, Palestinians protested their land confiscation with a general strike. About a year after the project of Judaizing the Galilee under the banner of "developing it", which through it , 21 thousand acres of land of Araba, Sakhnin, Deir Hanna, Arab Sawaed and other cities of Galilee were confiscated.

This confrontation constituted an important turning point in the role of the Palestinians in 48, in the face of the attempts to strip them from their land and property. It was also an introduction to the decline of the ability of Zionist parties to attract the Palestinian electoral vote to their favor through attached Arab lists. The Arab parties and frameworks begin to appear and today they are occupying a prominent and clear space in the Israeli political scene through the formation of the unified Arab list and through a program , which intersects in rejecting marginalization, racism and defending the rights of Palestinians and their property.

In addition to that, the Land Day represented the unity of confrontation in each of the territories of 1948 and the occupied Palestinian territories by the 1967 aggression, which confirms the unity of people and the integration of its rights and thus its national goals in preserving the identity of the land and defending it.

In the West Bank, the occupation found itself in the presence of a steady and growing Palestinian demographic existence. So, it began its expansionist project through settlement infiltration under security pretexts and appropriated large tracts of land under the pretense that they were not owned by anyone, and it considered itself the heir to the princely territories, and it deployed its settlers in Jerusalem and the rest of the West Bank through a map that meets its expansionist and security objectives, and it increased that with the start of talking about a political settlement looking at the future of the occupied Palestinian territories in one of the extensions of Camp David agreement between Egypt and Israel in the mid-seventies of the last century.

On the other hand, the outbreak of the modern Palestinian revolution and the formation of the Palestinian liberation program within the framework of the PLO were the biggest challenge to the Israeli expansionist project in the occupied territories, and they terminated the attempts to obliterate the Palestinian national identity. With the successes achieved by the PLO and the Arab and international recognition of it , as the sole legitimate representative of the Palestinian people, it was clear that the conflict on the ground between its owners and the occupation , has put the Palestinian issue in its actual context, away from the scene of refugees who have been stranded during the Nakba and years later.

Despite the attempts to marginalize the PLO, the great Intifada in 1987 brought the international community before the need of finding a solution for the conflict, without ignoring the Palestinian rights, which worried both Tel Aviv and Washington, so the latter worked on "stimulating" the leadership of the PLO towards a political settlement and it expressed its willingness to conduct a direct dialogue with the organization, which was on the US list of terrorism.

The Bush administration invested the stormy regional and international developments, most notably the collapse of the socialist state system beginning with the Soviet Union and the repercussions of the Iraqi occupation to Kuwait to put the region's components in the framework of a settlement with Israel.

The official Palestinian leadership's attraction toward the supposed settlement process came at the expense of the great Intifada, which was progressing and expanding on the ground and with clear objectives towards the final independence.

The Oslo Accords confirmed this independence and the subsequent launching of a process of settlement outside the United Nations and its resolutions related to the conflict, and without forcing the occupation to stop its expansionist policies, the spread of settlements, the escalation of Judaization campaigns, the demolition of houses and the looting of Palestinian land.

Therefore, it was certain that rounds of negotiations would be repeated without a result related to the rights of the Palestinian people, and that the settlements would flourish and would be seen by the participants in the futile negotiating process.

So, with the continuation of the policy of waiting which is adopted by the Palestinian official leadership and betting on the negotiations as a single option, the Israeli discourse penetrated in the settlement issue to move it from expansion to legalization through draft resolutions that were put forward in the Israeli Knesset. Some of them are still waiting for the vote on them expected, linking with an understanding between Tel Aviv and Washington on this subject.

The coming of Trump administration encouraged Netanyahu government to develop more plans to resolve the future of the occupied Palestinian territories to meet its security and expansionist conditions. The terms of Trump's envoy that conveyed were to President Abbas came to alarm the future of the Palestinians if the negotiations are launched under these conditions.

For this reason, it has been repeatedly emphasized that the defense of the Palestinian land and national rights and the quest for their embodiment begins with stopping the bet on the settlement as proposed by Washington and Tel Aviv, and to pay attention to the internal Palestinian situation and correct it politically and organizationally, through the implementation of national consensus resolutions, most notably the decisions of the Palestinian Central Council 2015.

Otherwise, the Palestinian situation will move from the circle of waiting to the danger of termination of the national rights of Palestinian people and the victory of Israel's expansionist and aggressive policy.

Mohammad Al-Sahli is Editor in Chief of Al-Hourriah newspaper, the official speaker of the Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine
Translated by Rawan Albash
Revised by Ibrahim Motlaq

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