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Palestinians take stock of 75 years of dispossession on Land Day

Jerusalem24 – Palestinians across Historic Palestine are commemorating the 47th anniversary of Land Day, in what has become an annual, national rejection of Israeli seizure of Palestinian lands since 1948.

The first Land Day protests were held on 30 March 1976 protesting Israel’s expropriations of land from Palestinians with Israeli citizenship in the Galilee for “security and settlement purposes”. Israeli police shot and killed six Palestinian protestors.

The Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics released figures on Wednesday showing that in addition to the 60% of the occupied West Bank (Area C) which is under full Israeli military and administrative control, over 10% of the West Bank has been effectively annexed by Israel due to its “separation wall” which spans 714km and cuts Palestinians off from their lands.

Since 1967, Israeli authorities have also confiscated and classified about 353,000 dunums of Palestinian land as “nature reserves” – usually in preparation for their seizure by settlers.

Palestinian lands confiscated for the purposes of military bases and military training sites constitute about 18% of the West Bank, or over 1 million dunums.

As of the end of 2021, there were 483 Israeli settlement sites and military base sites in the occupied West Bank: 151 settlements; 25 inhabited outposts that were considered neighborhoods belonging to existing settlements; 163 outposts; and 144 other sites, including industrial, tourist and service areas, and military posts, bases and camps.

Israeli authorities exploit 76% of the total surface area classified as Area C in the occupied West Bank, while regional Israeli settlement councils control 63% of Area C. The areas designated for the expansion of these settlements amounted to about 537,000 dunums at the end of 2022, or about 10% of the West Bank.

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