RAMALLAH, March 30, 2016 (WAFA) – On the occasion of Land Day, the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) revealed that, ‘Israeli occupation authorities laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of historical land of Palestine, which totals about 27,000 km2.
Every year, the Palestinian people mark the confiscation of 21 thousand dunums of land in Al-Jalil, AlMuthalth and Al-Naqab on 30 March 1976.
On this day, the Israeli authorities expropriated the land and responded violently to the protestations, killing six young demonstrators.
PCBS noted that, Arabs comprise 48% of the total population but utilize only 15% of the land.
Israeli Occupation set up a buffer zone along the border of the Gaza Strip extending over 1,500 m along the eastern border, said PCBS.
“Consequently, the zone usurps about 24% of the total area of the Gaza Strip (365 km²), which is one of the most densely populated area in the world with about 5,000 capita/km².”
Furthermore, Israeli Occupation maintains tight control over more than 90% of the area of the Jordan Valley, which constitutes 29% of the total area of the West Bank.
Regarding Israel’s extensive judaization of Jerusalem in 2015, PCBS said, “While the Israeli occupation authorities keep demolishing Palestinian houses and denying Palestinians the right to build any new houses, they grant permits to build thousands of housing units in the Israeli settlements in and around Jerusalem.”
It said Israeli authorities demolished about 152 Palestinian buildings (houses and establishments) and sent hundreds of demolition orders to owners of other buildings; moreover, the Israeli occupation authorities confiscated 546 dunums of the Palestinian land in Jerusalem’s Issawiya locality and Shu‘fat camp to establish a national park and dumping site for wastes from illegal Jewish settlements.
PCBS documented the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces during the year 2015, stating that the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces reached 181, including 32 children and 9 women, in addition to 26 in the Gaza Strip.
It said the number of injury cases has risen during the year 2015; about 16,620 were wounded, while the number of cases of detention amounted to about 6830 case, including 2,179 children.
Regarding Israel’s ongoing settlement construction, the report revealed that, “There were 413 illegal Israeli constructions in the West Bank (including 150 settlements and 119 outposts) by the end of 2014.”
It said while Israeli authorities approved the building of over 4,500 housing units in [illegal] Israeli settlements in the West Bank, these same authorities deprived Palestinians of their right to build and laid obstacles, which it noted, “undermine any potential urban expansion especially for the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Area "C" which is under full Israeli control.”
It should be noted that Area “C” constitutes over 60% of the West Bank area.
Israel also erected its Expansion and Annexation Wall, which isolates more than 12% of the West Bank land, said the report.
Data indicated that the total number of settlers in the West Bank was 599,901 at the end of 2014; 286,997 of whom are in the Jerusalem Governorate (they represent 48% of all settlers in the occupied West Bank).
“210,420 of these illegal settlers live in Jerusalem J1 (that part of Jerusalem, which was annexed forcefully by Israel following its occupation of the West Bank in 1967).”
PCBS explained that, “In demographic terms, the proportion of settlers to the Palestinian population in West Bank is around 21 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared with 69 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem governorate.”
As for Israel’s continued degradation of the environment, PCBS said, “Israeli settlements cause direct damage to the Palestinian environment.
“They actually discharge 40 million cubic meters (mcm) of wastewater annually into Palestinian valleys and agricultural land,” noting that, “Only 10% of such water is treated.”
It said Israeli authorities prevent Palestinians from building their own wastewater treatment plants, while they allocated part of the Palestinian land in Jordan Valley to an Israeli dumpsite of industrial waste.
Consequently, Palestinian agricultural land endured enormous damage not to mention impact on health animals and biodiversity, in addition to the Israeli authorities bulldozed and burned more than 15,300 trees of Palestinian farmers during the year 2015.
Regarding Israel’s control over water resources in Palestine, PCBS said, Like other Arab countries, Palestine suffers from scarcity of water and resources.
However, the situation in Palestine is more complex because of prolonged Israeli occupation, which controls most of the existing water sources and prevents the Palestinians of their right to access their water sources or any alternative sources.
“The Israeli occupation controls the majority of renewable water resources totaling 750 MCM, while Palestinians receive only about 110 MCM,” noting that, “The Palestinian share from the three ground water aquifers should be 118 MCM according to Oslo Agreement II.”
On the fortieth remembrance of the Land Day, PCBS revealed that the Israeli occupation violations against Palestinians continue, in terms of land confiscation, demolition of buildings (housing units and establishments) and forcible displacement of residents.
Israeli occupation authorities usurped 6,386 dunums of Palestinian land in the various governorates of the West Bank in 2015, added PCBS.
Furthermore, they demolished 645 building (houses and establishments), forcibly displacing 2,180 person in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, 1,108 of whom are children. They also threatened to demolish 780 building, at a time when the needs of housing units for Palestinian increase.
In figures, 60.9% of households in Palestine need to build new housing units over the next decade according to the reported data survey of housing conditions in 2015 (one residential unit or more).
Regarding Israel’s monopoly over tourism, PCBS said, “The Israeli narrative is based on falsification of the culture, civilization and history of Palestine. Therefore, the occupation authorities alter Palestinian national treasures and monuments of ancient times.”
In figures, 53% of the archeological sites in Palestine are in Area "C", which is under full Israeli control.