Palestinians have rights too!

Today is Land Day in Palestine. On this day in 1976, the Israeli army brutally suppressed a wave of protests, including a general strike, by the Palestinian population against a plan to expropriate land between the villages of Sakhnin and Arraba, north of Nazareth, within the borders of Palestine occupied by the State of Israel in 1948. As a result, six Palestinians were killed, about a hundred were injured, and an undetermined number of many hundreds were arrested.

Forty-six years later, the Palestinian people face an extensive and renewed campaign of expropriations, with particular focus on East Jerusalem, prolonging the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people concomitant with the creation of the State of Israel in 1948. This campaign is accompanied by the announcement of the construction of new settlements and the intensification of the processes of enlargement of those already in existence.

In parallel, the violent action of settler groups intensifies, with the cover and support of the Israeli army, sowing terror in Palestinian communities throughout the West Bank, destroying trees, fields and property, humiliating and beating men, women and children.

In Gaza, some two million people are still subjected to a cruel and criminal blockade in a territory in which, since 2020, according to the United Nations, human life is ecologically unsustainable.

Meanwhile, Israel accentuates its condition of a state of segregation, as has been widely denounced by human rights organizations, both Palestinian and international, and was recently reiterated in the report of the special rapporteur for the occupied Palestinian territories appointed by the UN Human Rights Committee, Michael Lynk.

The law recently passed in the Israeli parliament denying nationality to Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip married to citizens of the State of Israel, forcing them into exile or to live forever apart, confirms that the apartheid and segregation regime is constitutive of the State of Israel and is not limited solely to the Palestinian territories occupied in 1967.

Today, as yesterday, legitimate protests against the spoliations and continued arbitrariness are brutally repressed. Nearly five thousand Palestinians, among them 180 children and 34 women, are in jail. Of these, 490 people are under administrative detention, indefinitely renewed by a military tribunal, without charge, without the assistance of a lawyer, without contact with their families, often without a definite whereabouts. Since January 1 of this year, these Palestinian prisoners under administrative detention have refused to appear before the military court ordering the extension of this regime of detention, in protest against its inhumanity.

All this is happening, it must be stressed, with the complacency, if not the complicity and active participation of the international community. In the present international situation, in which resources are rightly being mobilized to help and alleviate the suffering of the populations affected by the war in Ukraine, it is particularly shocking to observe the silence imposed on the secular drama of the Palestinian people who endure like no other the condition of refugees, often within their own land.

It is even more offensive that, in this context, the State of Israel and its leaders can be presented as promoters of peace, or that political leaders reproduce the discourse of victimization of that State, which was constituted in 1948 on the crime of ethnic cleansing of a population and which has continued since its creation.

On this date, the MPPM reaffirms its solidarity with the struggle of the Palestinian people, against the occupation, the segregation regime and the ethnic cleansing.

As the Assembly of the Republic begins a new legislature, the MPPM recalls the particular responsibilities of Portugal to promote a policy that defends, without hesitation, the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people, arising from the constitutional imperative to recognize the right of peoples to self-determination and independence.

The MPPM calls on public opinion to show the urgency of solidarity with the Palestinian people, with the men, women and young people who day by day defend every tree, every house, every meter of land threatened by the Israeli army tanks.

The Palestinians too have the right to a future of peace and freedom, in the borders of a viable, independent and sovereign state, with its capital in Jerusalem.

The Palestinians too have the right to return to the homes and places from which they and their ancestors were expelled.

The Palestinians too have the right to international recognition.

March 30, 2022

The National Directorate of the MPPM

Print Friendly, PDF & Email