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Marking Land Day by numbers: A catalogue of theft and destruction by Israel

March 30, 2017, midnight

Since its occupation of the West Bank in 1967, Israel has classified about 40% of the area of the West Bank as state land, which it is using for the benefit of Jewish settlers and settlements rather than for its Palestinian inhabitants.

On 30th March 1976, Israeli occupying authorities announced the confiscation of 21,000 km2 of Palestinian land in the Galilee in the north, an area known as The Triangle encompassing a cluster of Palestinian villages and the Naqab in the south prompting wide scale protests by Palestinians. Israeli police responded violently to the protests, killing six young demonstrators.

Since then, Palestinians have been marking 30th March of every year as Land Day and during this time, Israel has built thousands of illegal settlement units in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, about 48 per cent of the built up area of Israeli settlements are located on privately-owned Palestinian land.

In 2016, Israel ratified 115 new settlement master plans, which include the construction of over 5,000 units in illegal Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

Moreover, Israel continues to demolish Palestinian homes and creates obstacles and impediments to the issuance of building permits in East Jerusalem while approving the construction of thousands of housing units in illegal Israeli settlements. In 2016, Israel demolished 309 Palestinian buildings in East Jerusalem and issued 227 demolition orders.

In the West Bank, specifically in Area C, which is under full Israeli military control and which makes up 60% of the area of the occupied West Bank, Israel demolished 714 houses and structures, including schools, in addition to issuing 657 demolition orders.

The demolitions in Jerusalem and the West Bank, last year alone, has led to the displacement of more than 1,620 Palestinians, half of them children.

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