March 30, 2019, marks the 43rd anniversary of Land Day in Palestine and the one-year anniversary of the Great March of Return in Gaza. Land Day, which helped inspire the Great March of Return, reminds the world that Palestinians, for 71-years continue to be denied self-determination and the right of return. Land Day commemorates the 1976 popular protests organized by those who remained in historic Palestine even after the 1948 Nakba. This historic day commemorates popular nonviolent demonstrations in reaction to Israel’s unlawful and violent mass expropriation of land in the Galilee in which six innocent Palestinians were killed by Israeli police.
The Great March of Return like Land Day in 1976 continues Palestinians’ fight for self- determination and the right of return, using nonviolent protests methods pioneered by previous generations. One year ago, Palestinians living in the Gaza Strip organized a grassroots movement to demand the their internationally enshrined right of return. These historic movements represent one simple reality: All Palestinians, whether living in the refugee camps of Lebanon, or in the Gaza Strip, to those in the Galilee, and beyond, remain one unbreakable nation.
ADC reiterates the U.N.’s repeated call to Israel to immediately stop targeting unarmed Palestinian protesters and to lift the illegal siege on Gaza. In spite of international law, the U.S. administration continues to implement unilateral decisions that contradict its own international agreements, most recently formally recognizing Israel’s unjust claim to the Golan Heights. The U.S. has a responsibility to uphold its international commitments, including the values of human rights, peace, and dignity for all people.