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PCBS | PCBS: on the eve of the Forty Two annual commemoration of Land Day, March 30, 2018

Press Release by the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS) on the eve of the Forty Two annual commemoration of Land Day, March 30, 2018   

Israeli occupation laid hand over more than 85% of the total area of historical land of Palestine, which totals about 27,000 km2. Arabs comprise 48% of the total population, but utilize only 15% of the land. The Palestinian people remember the confiscation of 21 thousand dunums of land in Al-Jalil, Al-Muthalath and Al-Naqab on 30 March 1976. On this day, the Israeli occupation expropriated the land and responded violently to the protestations, killing six young demonstrators.

Israeli Settlements: Continuous Expansion

There were 425 Israeli Occupation settlements and military bases in the West Bank (including 150 settlements and 107 outposts) by the end of 2016. Furthermore, the year 2017 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 16,800 new housing units; about one third of them were in the occupied city of Jerusalem. In addition, the Israeli occupation approved the establishment of 4 new settlements in the year 2017; one in South of Nablus and 3 settlements in the Jordan Valley in an attempt to triple the number of settlers in the Jordan Valley. While the occupation deprived Palestinians of their right to build and laid obstacles to undermine any potential urban expansion, especially for the Palestinians in Jerusalem and Area "C", which is under full control of the Israeli Occupation.  Added to that the Expansion and Annexation Wall, which also isolates more than 12% of the West Bank land. Data findings indicated that the total number of settlers in the West Bank was 636,452 by the end of 2016, 302,188 of whom lived in Jerusalem Governorate, 222,325 of them were living in Jerusalem J1 (that part of Jerusalem, which was annexed forcefully by Israeli Occupation following its occupation of the West Bank in 1967). In demographic terms, the proportion of settlers to the Palestinian population in the West Bank is around 21.4 settlers per 100 Palestinians compared with 70 settlers per 100 Palestinians in Jerusalem Governorate.
Jerusalem: Intensive and Systematic Judaization
At the time that the Israeli occupation demolish Palestinian buildings, and put obstacles and impediments to the issuance of building permits, they approve licenses to construct thousands of housing units in Israeli settlements on the Palestinian lands of Jerusalem. The Israeli occupation began building 1,600 housing units in the settlements of Gilo and Harhoma during the year 2017 within the framework of a plan to separate the city of Jerusalem from the city of Bethlehem, and it accelerated the preparation of plans for the construction of a new settlement on the Qalandia airport to isolate Jerusalem from its Arab surroundings from the North West side, in addition to the annexation of 250 dunums to follow the municipality of Jerusalem, which falls within the area so-called "no-man's land since 1967 for the establishment of new settlements projects, as well as announcing a plan to build 6 hotels including 1,300 hotel rooms on the lands of Jabal AL-Mukaber.

Demolish of Housing Unit and Establishment

The violations of the Israeli occupation against the Palestinians continue, in terms of demolishing buildings (housing units and establishments) and forcible displacement of residents. Israeli occupation demolished 433 buildings in 2017 (houses and establishments), forcibly displacing 700 persons in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, half of whom are children. They also threatened to demolish 1,030 buildings in 2017, at a time when the needs of housing units for Palestinians increase. In figures, about 61% 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).

Israeli Violations: Martyrs, Wounded and Prisoners

The number of martyrs killed in the al Aqsa Intifada between September 29, 2000 and December 31, 2017 was 10,463.  The bloodiest year was 2014 with 2,240 Palestinian martyrs, 2,181 of them from Gaza Strip. The number of Palestinian martyrs reached 94 persons during the year 2017, out of whom 16 children and 2 women. The Israeli occupation also detained the bodies of 15 martyrs, while the number of injured Palestinians during the year 2017 reached about 8,300 persons. There are around 7,875 Palestinians in detention as in 20/03/2018, Of these, 62 are female, more than 376 are children, while the number of cases of detention during the year 2017 amounted to about 6,742 cases, including 1,467 children and 156 women .

Land Confiscation
The Israeli occupation approved the confiscation of about 2,100 dunums of Palestinian land during the year 2017, as well as the confiscation of hundreds of dunums of Palestinians through the expansion of Israeli roadblocks and the establishment of military checkpoints to protect the settlers, in addition to renewed orders to seize 852 dunums of Palestinian land in the West Bank.

Theft of agricultural land
The Israeli measures are one of the main reasons for the decline in agricultural land in the West Bank. Area C forms about 60% of the West Bank, which is still under full Israeli control, depriving many farmers from accessing their land and farming it. The Israeli occupation razed and uprooted about 10 thousand trees in 2017,  70,200 dunums are cultivated with irrigated crops were transferred to the settlers in the Israeli settlements.

Continuous Siege on Gaza Strip
Despite the small area of Gaza Strip, the Israeli Occupation set up a buffer zone over more than 1,500 m along the Eastern border of Gaza Strip.  Consequently, the Israeli Occupation usurped about 24% of the total area of Gaza Strip (365  km2), which is considered the most populous area in the world with about 5,000 capita/km2.

1.    Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics 2017: Israeli settlements in the West Bank, 2016. Ramallah- Palestine
2.    Abdullah Al-Hourani Center for Studies and Documentation, Israeli violations 2017, Ramallah- 2018.
3.    Israel Central Bureau of Statistics, Statistical Abstract of Israel.  Jerusalem, 2017.
4.    Palestinian Ministry of Detainees and Ex-detainees database, unpublished data. 2018