RAMALLAH, Wednesday, March 30, 2022 (WAFA) – On the occasion of the Forty- Sixth annual commemoration of Land Day, Ola Awad, President of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS), highlighted the Land Day in statistical figures, as follows in a reported released today.
The Palestinian people remember the Annual Commemoration of Land Day. It is the day in which the Israeli occupation laid hand over and confiscated 21 thousand dunums of land in Al-Jalil, Al-Muthalath and Al-Naqab on the 30th of March 1976. On this day, the Israeli occupation confiscated the land and responded violently to the protestations, killing six young Palestinian demonstrators. Accordingly, this day has become a commemoration to embody the belonging of the Palestinian people to their homeland, and to commemorate those young martyrs.
The estimated number of the Palestinians by the end of 2021 was about 13.8 million; about 5.3 million live in the State of Palestine and about 1.6 million Palestinians live in the 1948 territories. In addition, about 6.2 million Palestinians live in the Arab countries, whereas almost 738 thousand Palestinians live in foreign countries. The Israeli occupation is exploiting more than 85% of the total area of the lands of the historical Palestine. It is also worth mentioning that Jews in the era of the British Mandate exploited only 1,682 Km2, a percentage of 6.2% of the lands of the historical Palestine.
The Israeli occupation used the land classification according to the Oslo Accords (A, B and C) to tighten their control over the Palestinian land, especially in areas classified as (C) which are under the full control of the Israeli occupation in terms of security, planning and construction, where 76% of the total area classified as (C) is directly exploited by the Israeli occupation; settlements regional councils are controlling 63% of it. While the area of authority regions in the Israeli settlements in the West Bank (Including closed regions allocated for expanding those settlements) is about 542 km2 as it is by the end of 2021; representing about 10% of the total area of the West Bank. Whereas the confiscated areas for the purposes of military bases and military training locations represent about 18% of the West Bank area, in addition to the Annexation and Expansion Wall that has isolated more than 10% of the area of the West Bank. Consequently, more than 219 Palestinian localities were badly affected by the establishment of the Annexation and Expansion Wall. In addition, and since 1967, the Israeli occupation authorities have confiscated about 353 thousand dunums of Palestinian lands and classified them as natural reserves in preparation for their seizure.
By the end of 2020, there were 471 Israeli occupation sites and military bases in the West Bank, including 151 settlements and 26 inhabited outposts that considered as neighborhoods following established settlements, in addition to 150 settlement outposts, and 144 classified as other sites (industrial, tourists, service areas and Israeli army bases). As for the number of settlers in the West Bank, it reached 712,815 settlers by the end of 2020, at a growth rate of almost 3.6%. Attracting Jews from abroad represents more than the third of net population growth rate in Israel. Thus, data shows that around 47% of settlers live in Jerusalem governorate, where their number reached about 332,294 settlers; out of which 246,909 settlers live in East Jerusalem (J1) “includes those parts of Jerusalem which were annexed by Israeli occupation in 1967”. In regards to demographics, the proportion of settlers to Palestinian population in the West Bank is about 23 settlers per 100 Palestinians, and it was the highest in Jerusalem Governorate, where there were 71 settlers per 100 Palestinians. Accordingly, 2021 witnessed a significant increase in the pace of construction and expansion of the Israeli settlements in the West Bank, where the Israeli occupation approved the construction of more than 12,000 new settlement housing units including 9,000 settlement housing units on the lands of Qalandia Airport in Jerusalem Governorate. In addition, plans were approved to construct thousands of settlement housing units in the West Bank and Jerusalem Governorate.
In 2021, settlers, under the protection of the Israeli occupation army, carried out about 1,621 attacks against Palestinian citizens and their property, an increase of 49% in 2020, and the attacks varied from uprooting, destroying and burning of 19,000 trees, carrying out 33 run-over attacks, 76 shootings, and 30 leveling operations of citizens' lands, in addition to burning, destroying and damaging cars and vehicles of 450 Palestinian citizens.
Since the beginning of 2021, settlers have established ten new outposts for the seizure and control of Palestinian lands, including Jabal Sabih, which is located southeast of Nablus city. The area of the mountain (Jabal Sabih) is about 840 dunums, where the Israeli settlers seized so far 20 dunums of it, and they have built an outpost that includes a number of settlement units that are rapidly increasing in recent days, while the Israeli occupation authorities have initiated measures to legitimize the outpost to turn it into an Israeli Settlement. The Israeli settlers also exploit about 120 thousand dunums of Palestinian lands for agriculture.
As part of the policy of deportation and replacement, the Israeli occupation authorities are taking accelerated judaizing measures to Jerusalem in order to obliterate the Islamic landmarks and displace Palestinians from the city of Jerusalem, to replace them with Israelis from all over the world. During 2021, the Israeli occupation authorities approved the construction of more than 12 thousand settlement units, most of them in Jerusalem, at a time that the Israeli occupation authorities demolished more than 300 buildings and issued demolition orders for more than 200 Palestinian buildings. In addition to approving a project to seizure 2,050 Palestinian real-estates over an area estimated of 2,500 dunums during the year 2021. At the same time, in the neighborhoods of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan in East Jerusalem, the Israeli authorities strengthened the Israeli occupation attempts to seizure Palestinian houses and expel its long-time residents. They did so under a discriminatory law, upheld by Israeli courts, that allows these Israeli settler groups to pursue claims to land they claim Jews owned pre-1948 in East Jerusalem. While Israeli law prohibits Palestinians, including residents of Sheikh Jarrah and Silwan neighborhoods who are due to be displaced, from reclaiming property they owned in the occupied territories in 1948.
Israeli occupation authorities demolished 1,058 buildings in Palestine (353 residential buildings and 705 establishments), in which 93 of them were self-demolition located mostly in Jerusalem governorate with 88 self-demolition that constituting 29% of total demolishing (128 residential buildings and 176 establishments). Tubas & Northern Valleys governorate followed by with 20%, then Hebron governorate with 15%, while the rest of the percentages were distributed among the other governorates of the West Bank.
Israeli occupation authorities during the year 2021, issued 875 orders associated with demolishing, construction and land reclamation halt in the West Bank and Jerusalem, of which 22% in Nablus Governorate, 15% in Tubas & Northern Valley Governorate, and 14% in Jerusalem Governorate, in addition to the destruction of many infrastructure sites that serve the Palestinians, including roads, Water and sanitation networks.
The number of Palestinian and Arab martyrs killed since the Nakba in 1948 and until this day (inside and outside Palestine) reached about 100 thousand martyrs. Moreover, the number of martyrs killed in Al-Aqsa Intifada, between September 29th, 2000 and December 31st, 2021, was 11,310. It is said that the bloodiest year was 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, 2,181 of them were from Gaza Strip during the war on Gaza. During 2021, the number of Palestinian martyrs reached 341, 87 of whom were children and 48 women. While the number of wounded Palestinians reached about 12,500 in 2021. By the end of February 2022, there were 4,400 Palestinian detainees in the Israeli occupation prisons, 160 of them are children and 33 women. The number of detention cases amounted to be about 8,000 cases during 2021, including 1,300 children and 184 women. While the number of administrative detention orders against Palestinian citizens who were not charged with any indictment amounted to 1,595.