Land Day 2017: Occupation laid hands over more than 85% of historic Palestine
On the Eve of the 41st Anniversary of Land Day March 30th, 2017, President of Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), Ms. Ola Awad, has presented the Anniversary through Statistics and Figures.
According to PCBS, Israeli Occupation Authorities laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of historical land of Palestine, which totals about 27,000 km2.
Arabs comprise 48% of the total population, but utilize only 15% of the land. The Palestinian people remember the confiscation of 21 thousand dunums of land in Al-Jalil, Al-Muthalth and Al-Naqab on 30 March 1976. On this day, the Israeli Authorities expropriated the land and responded violently to the protestations, killing six young demonstrators.
40% of the West Bank Area Have Been Converted to State Land by Israeli Occupation
After the Israeli Occupation of the West Bank and Gaza Strip in 1967, the Israeli Occupation Authorities started to transfer ownership land registers which was run by the Jordanian authorities, and land which was considered as a state land since the Ottoman era and transferred authority to act in this land to them, and froze the land registrations for the Palestinians, and canceled all incomplete registers.
The Palestinian Citizens were deprived of the right to dispose their land ownership. The area of land reached in that time, about 527 thousand dunums, and by the end of 1973, the Israeli Occupation Authorities have added more than 160 thousand dunums as a state land. Israeli Occupation Authorities has continued its policy which aimed at plundering the Palestinian land. In addition, the Israeli Occupation Authorities announced more than 900 thousand dunums as a state land between the years 1979-2002, in a continuation of the Israeli Occupation policy of looting Palestinian land by announcing more than 660 thousand dunums of the Palestinian land to be as a state land. The total land classified as Israeli Occupation state land in the West Bank reached more than 2,247 thousand dunums, representing about 40% of the total area of the West Bank.
Continuously Israeli occupation policy of Palestinian buildings demolitions in Jerusalem
At the time that the Israeli Occupation Authorities demolish Palestinian buildings, and put obstacles and impediments to the issuance of building permits, they approve licenses to construct thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements on the Palestinian lands of Jerusalem, where the Occupation Authorities demolished about 309 buildings (housing and establishment) during the year 2016, in addition to issuing about 227 demolition orders. The major demolitions carried out by the Israeli Occupation Authorities in Jerusalem, was in Abu Nawar locality, targeting the only school there, which consisted of six classrooms; in addition to the demolition of an under-construction mosque in Sur Bahir.
48% of the Built Up Area of Israeli Settlements on Palestinian Private Owned Land
There were 413 Israeli Occupation constructions in the West Bank (including 150 settlements and 119 outposts) by the end of 2015. Furthermore, about 48% of the built up area of Israeli settlements are located on Palestinian privately owned land. In 2016 Israeli Occupation Authorities ratified 115 new settlement master plan, which includes the construction of over 5,000 housing units in Israeli settlements in the West Bank. These same authorities deprived Palestinians of their right to build and laid obstacles, undermining any potential urban expansion, especially for the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Area “C”, which is under full Israeli Occupation control. It should be noted that Area “C” constitutes over 60% of the West Bank area; while only four master plans were approved by the Israeli Occupation Authorities, out of 97 Palestinian master plans submitted for Israeli Authorities’ approval, during the last 5 years. The Expansion and Annexation Wall, also isolates more than 12% of the West Bank land. Data findings indicate that the total number of settlers in the West Bank was617,291 by the end of 2015, 292,555 of whom lived in Jerusalem Governorate, 214,135 of these were living in Jerusalem J1 (that part of Jerusalem, which was annexed forcefully by Israeli Occupation Authorities following its occupation of the West Bank in 1967). In demographic terms, the proportion of settlers to the Palestinian population in West Bank is around 21 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared with 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate.
Policy of Ethnic Cleansing Against Palestinians in the West Bank
The Israeli Occupation Authorities have continued their policy of ethnic cleansing against Palestinian citizens in the West Bank through the policy of demolishing houses and establishments in order to uproot citizens from their land. During the year 2016, Israeli Occupation Authorities demolished 1,023 houses and establishment in the West Bank (309 of them in Jerusalem Governorate, and 714 in the rest governorates of West Bank). In addition to issuing 657 demolition orders. The demolitions led to the displacement of more than 1,620 Palestinian citizens, half of them are children.
Continuous Siege on Gaza Strip
Despite the small area of Gaza Strip, the Israeli Occupation set up a buffer zone over more than 1,500 m along the eastern border of Gaza Strip.
Consequently, the Israeli Occupation usurps about 24% of the total area of Gaza strip (365 km2), which is considered the most populous area in the world with about 5,000 capita/km2.
- Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics 2016: Israeli settlements in the West Bank, 2015. Ramallah- Palestine
- Abdullah Al-Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation, Annual Report, 2016.
- National Office for the Defense of the Land and Resist Settlement. 2016
- The Applied Research Institute of Jerusalem (ARIJ). 2016