On 30 March, Palestinians commemorate Land Day, to mark the killing of six young Palestinian citizens of Israel by Israeli military forces in 1976.  These youth were among thousands protesting the Israeli government’s expropriation of Palestinian land.

Palestinian citizens of Israel – who make 20 per cent of Israel’s population – are those Palestinians who remained behind in what became the state of Israel following the Nakba (1947-9), or “catastrophe,” when approximately 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their homes and land in order to make way for a Jewish-majority state.

Today they continue to suffer from widespread, systematic and institutionalized discrimination affecting everything from land ownership and employment opportunities to family reunification rights. This discrimination is enshrined by law, in what a recent UN report called a form of apartheid.

This Land Day, we declare our solidarity with the 1.2 million Palestinian citizens of Israel who continue to struggle daily for the right of full equality as citizens of the state and call on Israel to immediately abolish the dozens of discriminatory laws against them.

Signed by GUE/NGL members and substitutes of the Delegation for Relations with Palestine:

Neoklis Sylikiotis (Cyprus, chair)

Martina Anderson (Ireland)

Patrick Le Hyaric (France)

Miguel Urbán (Spain)

Ángela Vallina (Spain)

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