MPPM condemns Israeli brutal repression of Palestinian peaceful manifestation on Land Day

Palestinians around the world celebrate March 30 as Land Day. On that day, in 1976, Israeli repressive forces killed six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were protesting the expropriation of Palestinian-owned land in northern Israel to build Jewish communities there. About 100 others were injured and hundreds were arrested during the general strike and large demonstrations that took place that day in different Palestinian locations in the territory of the State of Israel. Land Day symbolizes the determination of the Palestinian people to preserve their history, their attachment to their land as an essential element of their identity and their very existence as a people in their homeland.
But Land Day is, this year, marked by the great peaceful protest action called "Great March of the Return". With its beginning symbolically linked to Land Day, the protest should extend until May 15, the day the Palestinians call Nakba Day, the "Catastrophe", which marks the ethnic cleansing of more than 700,000 Palestinians by Israel in 1948. The central theme of this protest is the affirmation of the Palestinians’ connection to their land and the claim of refugees’ right of return to their homes, as prescribed by United Nations resolution 194. Notwithstanding their peaceful character, as well as the justice and legality of their purposes, the early hours of the Great March of Return are already marked by a brutal repression of the Israeli army, which includes the use of live ammunition fired by soldiers, but also by tanks along the Gaza border, which has already killed at least eight people and made hundreds of wounded.
MPPM warns of the continuing worsening of the situation and demands that the Portuguese State, in its diplomatic action, express its condemnation of the repressive actions of the State of Israel and demand from it the strict respect for the right of free demonstration.
In 2018, Land Day is commemorated in menacing circumstances, marked by the United States’ unilateral decision to recognize Jerusalem as the capital of Israel and to transfer its embassy there. This decision is further exacerbated by the fact that this transfer is expected to coincide with the 70th anniversary of the unilateral proclamation of the State of Israel and the Nakba.
Forty-two years after the events that gave rise to Land Day, Palestinians throughout historic Palestine continue to be targets of Israeli destruction, expulsion and dehumanization. Acting with impunity, Israel has maintained since 1967 the illegal military occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank, East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip. The systematic policy of ethnic cleansing of the Palestinians continues; in the Occupied Palestinian Territories continues the spoliation of lands and the expansion of illegal Israeli settlements, military outposts and the shameful Apartheid Wall. Within their own borders, as defined by the 1949 armistices, Israel practices a discriminatory policy of its Palestinian citizens, denying them rights that it only recognizes to its Jewish citizens.
By marking Land Day, the MPPM expresses its unfailing solidarity with the Palestinian people, who, in the face of obstacles and difficulties, continues its firm and heroic struggle for land, for peace, for its inalienable national rights, for the building of a free, independent, sovereign and viable State of Palestine at the pre-1967 borders, with capital in East Jerusalem, and a just solution to the situation of Palestinian refugees under international law.
Lisbon, March 30, 2018
The MPPM National Directorate
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