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Earth Day Embraces Palestinian Land Day
“Statement Issued by Land Research Center on the Occasion of Earth Day – April 22, 2021”
Perhaps the large Oil Spill on the California Pacific cost triggered American Senator Gaylord Nilson to lead a massive popular campaign that attracted 20 million protestors in the first memory of the incident in 1970, He never thought that A racist regime (Israel) supported by his own administration will trigger Palestinians six years later to burst with anger in the memory of Land Day on March 30th 1976.
At the time, The International System was compelled to recognize our responsibility towards mother earth and its rights, as we are living on it, exploiting its goods, and violating its magnificent god-created nature.
However, The Israeli settler-colonial Occupation does not recognize Palestinians’ right to their own land, and is still committing flagrant Human Rights Violations. Among many others, draining Hula lake, and imposing control over the Jordan River, resulting in a 60 m decrease in dead sea level. This is in fact a crime against humanity, planet, and its every life form, considering that these are unique natural sites.
In Parallel to land grabs and house demolitions, the Israeli occupation uproots trees, ravages farmlands and demolishes cisterns. They nevertheless rendered Palestinian agricultural lands into a sewage dump, and a dumpsite for chemicals and industrial zones’ waste. Turning into a health hazard, Palestinian farmers are forced to get away from their farmlands eventually, paving the way to the occupation to seize it and hand it out to foreign illegal colonists under illogical narratives – attributed to religion.
Last year (the Corona year) witnessed an escalation on vicious violations against Palestinian rights to land and housing. Environmental violations doubled twice in comparison to the past few years, which – we believe- is related to Palestinians’ absence from their farmlands committing to the World Health Organization instructions to combat the widespread of the Corona virus.
Israeli illegal colonists made about (388) dumpsites on privately-owned Palestinian lands, without any consideration to Human or environment rights. About six permanent streams of sewage water flow through the Occupied West Bank drowning trees and plants along 100 kilometers.
And During 2020, The Occupation forces uprooted, destroyed and torched (21,965) trees, of which 80 % are olives, in addition to ravaging, destroying and polluting (3830) dunums of agricultural lands. The IOF also destroyed (78) water cisterns and reservoirs, and demolished (883) houses and facilities, rendering about 1600 citizens (about 50 % are females), more than half of which are children homeless, all due to inhumane criminals wreaking havoc through this planet.
The Palestinian people while Celebrating Earth day call on environmental activists to safeguard the resources of this planet, and stop the crimes carried out against Palestinian natural resources and environment, holding the responsible accountable against the international low.
Let this be an outcry from Palestinian people to all humans to advocate for this planet’s rights and protect it from violations before it’s too late. For indeed, oppression is followed by disastrous consequences.
Land Research Center
Member of Palestinian Environmental NGOs Network
April 22nd, 2021