41st Land Day

On 30 March 1976, Israeli police killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel during protests against the government’s expropriation of massive tracts of Arab-owned land. This tragic event is commemorated annually as Land Day.

Forty-one years later, the land and housing rights of Palestinian citizens of Israel remain under threat.

As official data about land tenders in 2016 reaffirms, the land and housing crisis in Arab communities is not the result of specific failures or unintentional neglect, but the product of a systematic and deliberate policy of inequality and racism since 1948.

Ahmad Abu Al-Qi’an, for example, was forced by Israel to destroy his own home in the unrecognized Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran, and to move his family to the impoverished township of Hura. The state is seeking to demolish Umm al-Hiran in order to build a new Jewish town called Hiran on its ruins. Watch this short video to learn Ahmad’s story.

Ahmad is one of tens of thousands of Bedouin citizens from unrecognized villages in the Naqab (Negev) who will be dispossessed and displaced under a new version of the “Prawer Plan”, which the government is expected to push forward in the coming months.

The government has also proposed the Kaminitz Bill, which would increase the power of Israeli authorities to demolish thousands of Arab homes across the country while restricting judicial review. The bill would also impose severe penalties on Palestinian citizens who build without permits (which are nearly impossible to obtain), and who refuse to demolish their own homes.

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