The present contribution on the current situation in the 1948 territories will be published in the next issue - N° 34 - of Dialogue.
Issue N° 34 will publish a full dossier on the Prawer Plan.


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Palestinian masses within the 1948 territories heading towards a new Intifada.
Demonstrations for demands and motivated by anger are being staged in those regions against the policies of land plundering and the Prawer plan

Written by Wehbe Badarni (Nazareth- Arab Workers Union).

On last August 2nd, hundreds of Arab youths from the 1948 occupied Palestinian territories met at the "Wadi Aara" Junction waving dozens of Palestinian flags. They blocked the main road linking the centre to the north of the village. They expressed their anger against the series of land looting and plundering carried out by Israeli authorities against the rights of the Palestinians in the 1948 territories. They were demonstrating against the government's Prawer plan approved by the Israeli government which is going to transfer thousands of Arab inhabitants from their lands in the Negev region.

Hundreds of Israeli police forces were sent on the spot. They used force to dislodge the participants and they arrested some twenty demonstrators.

This mighty demonstration of young people was led by the young themselves, youth who learnt from the experience of the militant and revolutionary struggles of their brothers in Tunisia and Egypt, Morocco and other Arab countries. Youth who have had enough of the speeches given by political leaders who utilise their problems and make use of their daily difficulties.

Those demonstrations prolong the massive popular movements in the 1948 territories, the latest being last month's general strike decided by the people of the 1948 territories to protest Israel's racist policies which threaten their rights and which was recently materialised by Israel's government implementing the Prawer plan which decides to transfer the Arab Palestinian inhabitants out of the Negev, south of the country and transfer them in huge housing complexes, robbing them of the lands which their fathers and their forefathers had owned centuries before the creation of the Jewish State.

This decision by Israel brings us back to the days of the mass expulsion carried out by Israel against Palestinians' rights during the Nakba in 1948. Those Palestinians who have been living on their lands in the Negev region for centuries have been the victims of the worst attacks by Israeli authorities; their houses have been torn down, they have been forcibly turned out of their villages in palatine.

For dozens and dozens of years on end, successive Israeli governments have refused to recognise the Palestinian villages of the Negev. So 50 Palestinian villages in the Negev territories are called unrecognised villages. The Israeli government refuses to gave them any of the most elementary human rights such as water, electricity, education, healthcare and infrastructures.

What the Israeli government is doing is nothing else than planned harassment and oppression meant to make hell of the lives of those Palestinians in those territories to force them to leave their lands and leave as fast as possible.

However, the mass protest movement in the 1948 territories against Prawer plan and Israeli racist plans shows that those masses and militant generations of youth are not those who experienced the Nakba. They are a new generation of youth, tenacious in their fight to wrench their rights and their confiscated liberty.

The past history and the fight of Arab Palestinians of the 1948 territories has not started today but has been continuing since the Nakba in 1948. This component of the Palestinian people has led a bitter and difficult fight to stay in their country. They have fought the Israeli military regime imposed in the Galilee region till 1966. In 1976 the first Palestinian Intifada of the Arabs of the 1948 territories was launched in the Nazareth and Galilee territories to protest the confiscation of the lands from Palestinian farmers in the Arab villages, Sakhnin and Der-hana, and on March 30th of that year, Palestinian masses decided a general strike in all the territories. Clashes regularly erupted between the populations of Galilee village and Israeli troops. During the clashes in Galilee, six Palestinians were killed and hundreds were wounded. Hundreds of demonstrators were hit by a fierce repression campaign, arrested and brutalised.

This historical and revolutionary March 30th 1976 event is known as Land Day. Since that day till now, Palestinian masses have been celebrating this land day to salute the memory of the martyrs who fell to defend their lands.

The mobilisations and mass actions in the 1948 territories to commemorate the national demonstrations and struggles of the past years are the proof of an indisputable reality: the Palestinian popular masses of this region of Palestine motherland still hold on to their identity as Palestinians. They refuse the humiliation and submission to the oppressive mechanism of Zionist repression; the people are ready to pay the highest price for their freedom, fight for their dignity to live proudly on the land of their fathers and forefathers.

The massive mobilisation we are witnessing today shows this reality. It shows that the masses have chosen to fight for their dignity and to stay on this motherland and will not turn back.

From DIALOGUE REVIEW ( www.dialogue-review.com )