The events of the 1976 Palestine Land Day came after the confiscation of thousands of acres of Arab land within the boundaries of populated areas under the cover of the Galilee Development Project.
The main goal was the Judaisation of Galilee and the Triangle areas; particularly the villages of Arrabeh, Deir Hanna and Skhnin, as well as the Al-Naqab Desert. This led the Palestinians to declare a comprehensive strike.
Large numbers of Israeli occupation forces were ready inside the Palestinian villages attacking and injuring many Palestinians. The Palestinians organised numerous demonstrations in defense of their land which Israel met with repression.
Thirty-six-year-old Tasaheel Burnat is a Palestinian activist from the village of Bilin near Ramallah in the West Bank. Together, with her husband Iyad Burnat and their five children, they are considered conductors of the popular resistance in Bilin.
In 2004, the occupation confiscated 60 per cent of the land of their village in order to build the Separation Wall. The occupation removed hundreds of olive trees.
Tasaheel said: “Since 2005, Bilin residents have been engaging weekly Friday demonstrations with international peace activists from all over the world.”
Tasaheel Burnat is a symbol of the Palestinian woman who resists the occupation alongside her family. She was subject to violence many times and her husband was jailed many time. Three of her sons were arrested when they were under the age of eighteen.
Majd was injured and he is receiving medical treatment in Turkey, Abedel Khaliq was injured and is in prison, Mohammed was injured, spent time in prison and then was released after paying a fine. Mayar and Mohyiddeen are very young but take part in the demonstrations along with the family and villagers.
Resistance is part of the Burnat family life, and even though their house, like many other houses in Bilin, is targeted with night raids by the Israeli soldiers. Tasaheel and her family will not give up their right to protect their land and way of life.
Tasaheel Burnat remains optimistic that the occupation is about to disappear from our beloved Palestine on the heels of the stories of the Palestinians’ steadfastness. The confiscation of Palestinian land has not ended yet, and the Israeli policy of uprooting Palestinians is still continuous.
Palestine Land Day has become a national Palestinian day. Palestinians commemorate this day with protests, vigils, chanting Palestinian anthems that demonstrate steadfastness and raising slogans calling to end the land confiscations and Israeli settlements.
~Days of Palestine
Wasan abu-Baker is an American activist with a Palestinian origin. She is vice chair of Corpus Christi National Justice for our Neighbors in Corpus Christi, Texas, a member of ABCD New addition Team, and a staff writer for Kings River Life Magazine in the US. She holds an MA in special education from St John Fisher College in Rochester, New York.