The Mossawa Center, as Palestinian Human Rights organization, is commemorating the 47th Land Day on March 30th, a day of remembrance and resistance that commemorates the events of 1976 Land Day strike when Israeli authorities announced plans to expropriate large tracts of land from Palestinian villages in the cities of Sakhnin, Arrabe, Deir Hanna, and Arab Al Sawa’ed in the Galilee region. The announcement sparked a general strike and protests across Palestinian communities in the green line, which were met with violent repression from Israeli security forces. Six Palestinians were killed, and hundreds were injured or arrested. Palestinian Land Day has since become a symbol of the ongoing struggle for Palestinian self-determination and the right to their ancestral land.
This year's Land Day comes at a critical moment for Palestinians as Israel continues to expand its illegal settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, demolish Palestinian homes and structures, and forcibly evict Palestinian families from their homes in mixed cities, such as Akko, and the Naqaab (Negev). These actions are part of a broader Israeli policy to consolidate its control over Palestinian land and undermine the possibility of a viable Palestinian state.
Home demolitions in the Naqaab and mixed cities have been ramped up since the beginning of the year. An extended family in Akka had their four houses demolished due to "unrecognized permits," leaving 30 people homeless. Moreover, when the family tried to put up tents in the space of their destroyed home, they were evicted from the tents. In Naqaab, it's even worse, with houses and villages being destroyed time and time again as families try to keep themselves housed.
The Mossawa Center participated in the commemoration of Land Day by organizing a series of events and activities, including a memorial monument for the Land Day exhibition in several Arab towns, workshops in different cities, and distributing written and electronic materials to youth groups. The Center also supported families whose houses were demolished by the Municipality of Akka and the Planning and Building Authority in the Ministry of Finance. The Center accompanied the Abu Aish family in organizing a demonstration at the entrance of the Municipality of Akka following the demolition of their tents.