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Jerusalem and Sheikh Jarrah on Land Day 

April 3, 2021 at 11:34 am

Activists lift banners and placards during a demonstration against Israeli occupation and settlement activity in the Palestinian Territories and east Jerusalem, in Jerusalem’s Palestinian Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood, on 19 March 2021 [AHMAD GHARABLI/AFP/Getty Images]

As an event, Land Day has been and gone. However, as one of Palestine and its people, and as a symbol of existence loaded with significance and lessons to be learned, Land Day will remain present in the minds and hearts as long as Palestinian land is still under plunder, confiscation and settlement-colonial demolition encroachment.

Battles move from one location to another, and war arenas are different each time. Confrontation on the glorious Land Day took place on occupied land in 1948 to protect what was left of land in its owners’ hands. Today, confrontation is taking place at the heart of Palestine, in its capital Jerusalem, where Israel’s security, judicial and political levels and settlers all gather to loot the city, trying to change its historical and legal status. Today’s battles in the face of displacement policies, demolishing homes and planting settlers are the most furious, and for this reason, the efforts and energies of Palestinians everywhere must be united.

Sheikh Jarrah is now at the centre of conflict. Dozens of families and hundreds of citizens are threatened with expulsion, confiscation and demolition of their homes. Israel uses all means and tools to win this battle. The Israeli judicial system is taking the frontlines in the battle to deprive Palestinians of their land, their homes and their rights. It is a raging battle that becomes fiercer as deadlines given to home and landowners become closer. These owners have put all that they have into this battle, using all available tools, including their bare hands, to face Israeli machinery.

The Palestinian Authority (PA) needs to raise the level of mobilisation and awareness of this confrontation and use all its cards, connections and resources. The legal arm of the authority and its systems must be put at the people’s disposal as they fight the war to prove their ownership of their homes.

READ: Sheikh Jarrah is about much more than having the right documentation

The battle in Jerusalem and against it continues in Sheikh Jarrah, in the Silwan neighbourhood, and always and forever in the courtyards of Al-Aqsa Mosque. Israel does not quit, and in return, the Jerusalemites and all Palestinians will not stop resisting. They continue to inherit this resistance, from generation to generation, regardless of plots against them and betrayals and accomplices that are revealed.

March is the month of glorious occasions, and Land Day is only one of them. In March, the battle of dignity took place, and Jordanians and Palestinians were united in the first apparent confrontation against Israeli arrogance. Just as we fought the battle of dignity together, and just as we fight today the battles to defend Al-Aqsa and the holy sites together, we must fight the battle of Sheikh Jarrah together as well, because Jordan has been interested, by virtue of its custody over Jerusalem at the time of the unity of the two banks, to win this battle.

Jordan is still interested, under the Hashemite guardianship, to participate in this battle. Jordanian guardianship will have nothing left if Jerusalem loses its Arab, Islamic and Christian character or its inhabitants and if its original owners are displaced. It is one battle that must be fought to the end. It must be fought shoulder to shoulder, Jordanians and Palestinians, until Arab and Islamic support arrives and the conscience of the international community, still absent, awakens.

Translated from The New Khalij, 1 April, 2021.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.