The land of Palestine faces the crimes of the Israeli occupation on its soil, trees, air and environment with steadfastness and strength. The occupation is working day and night to steal every inch of our blessed land, which is the focus of the conflict with Israel as it works hard to Judaise Palestine, destroy its nature and displace its people to make it a place for Jews alone.
To us Palestinians and anyone else who loves Palestine, the land is our heart and soul, as well as the model for our strength, determination and steadfastness. We love this land; we love its air; we love its spring breezes; and we love its fragrance. The Palestinian sun gives us warmth unlike any other. It is our country, our homeland, our meeting place for victory and freedom.
The anniversary of Land Day, which remains immortalised in our hearts and minds and is engraved in blood in the memory of the Palestinian nation, is with us once again and takes us back to 30 March, 1967. That was the day when the Palestinians rallied in a major popular uprising in the territories occupied in 1948 in protest at Israel’s theft and Judaisation of the land. On that day, the Israelis stole nearly 5,189 acres of land, including Arraba, Sakhnin, Deir Hanna and Arab Alsawaed as part of the plan to Judaise the Galilee and expel its Palestinian residents.
The land of Palestine is of great importance to the Zionists, and they are keen to continue settlement activity. They have been repeating the old lie of “A land without a people for a people without a land” and are working to achieve this reality. They started drafting their plans to steal the land of Palestine after the First Zionist Congress in the Swiss city of Basel in 1897; they tried to get a guarantee from the Ottoman Empire that would grant them Palestine as a national homeland for the Jews. The founder of the Zionist Movement, Theodor Herzl, called for fruitful means to promote and advance Zionism and work towards establishing villages and colonies for Jews where they would have their full public rights in Palestine.
Writing about the land of Palestine, my eyes long to see its plains, plateaus, mountains, roads and sanctities. I long to experience its seasons and smell its flowers. My heart is filled with pain because of the Judaisation, settlement activity and continued construction of the Apartheid wall taking place in our country, with occupied West Bank cities turned into fragmented cantons. Zionist immigration is still taking place on our land as part of the occupation’s plans to colonise and control ever more of its blessed soil.
Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II rejected the Zionists’ request to give them the land of Palestine as a homeland. “I won’t sell anything, not even an inch of this territory because this country does not belong to me but to all Ottomans,” the Sultan insisted. “My people won these lands with their blood. We give what we have the way we got it in the first place.”
The anniversary of Palestinian Land Day pains and hurts many souls as they ache for the land of Palestine, which is being lost day by day as a result of Israel’s criminal colonisation. The number of illegal settlements is growing every year, along with the number of illegal settlers in our land. Israel ignores international laws and conventions, as it does with international appeals and criticism of its actions. Its crimes against the Palestinian people and their land are ongoing. Who is going to save Palestine from Israel’s colonisation on Land Day 2020?
Translated from Qudsnet, 30 March 2020
The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.