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Political Declaration on the occasion of the Day of the Land issued by the Political Bureau of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine

To the masses of our heroic Palestinian Arab people:

On the thirtieth of March our defiant, resistant Palestinian people observe the twenty-fourth anniversary of the Day of the Land, a date that shall live forever in the souls and sentiments of our people who affirm again their hold on the land and water with their innocent blood their sacred soil. They demonstrate to the enemy that his policy of repression, force, and violence will not deter them from protecting their land and aspiring to freedom and independence.

On the thirtieth of March 1976 the masses of our Palestinian people in the cities and villages of Galilee, the Triangle and the Negev put up a resistance. They were joined by our masses in the villages, cities and refugee camps of the Palestinian Bank and the Gaza district. The actions and activities have extended to outside Palestine and demonstrations and rallies were staged in all the centers of Palestinian refugees in dispersion, defending their land and maintaining its Arab character.

On this day every year our Palestinian Arab people wherever they are in the areas occupied in 1948, in the Palestinian Bank, in the Gaza district, and in the dispersion observe this anniversary full of meaning, lessons, and instructions.

The Day of the Land reaffirms the unity of the Palestinian Arab people, the unity of the land and its identity and destiny -- those things that Israel has sought to blow up and tear apart through the Oslo agreements and through the protocols and accords that have followed and grown out of Oslo. Israel has in this way succeeded in crippling, marginalizing, and eclipsing the Palestine Liberation Organization and has thereby pushed the Palestinian people and their cause into a dark tunnel and a grave political crisis.

The Zionist attempts over the more than fifty years of the Arab-Zionist conflict to deter the masses of our people from carrying on the long march of struggle and defense that expresses their devotion to their land and homeland, and the immense sacrifices that our heroic people have made confirm their rejection of all forms of bargaining and squandering of their permanent, inalienable national rights.

This glorious anniversary of the Day of the Land comes at a time when the Palestinian cause is going through conditions of the utmost complexity and difficulty, from the worsening of the Occupation authority's policy of expropriating land and judaizing holy places, to its insistence upon annexing Jerusalem, to its denial of the rights of our people to return home, to freedom, and to independence.

The land that our people rose up in the intifada to defend is being eaten away day after day through the studied programmatic policy that aims at seizing control of all Palestinian lands. This is coupled with the policy of deception, trickery, duping, and theft concerning the so-called peace process, the negotiations, and the redeployments. Despite all that, the group of Oslo supporters continues to bet on the possibility that the United States of America will exert pressure on its strategic ally Israel to give up some crumbs to the Palestinian side in order to prolong the life of the negotiations. To justify the negotiations to our people by claiming that they bring them gains and achievements is nothing but a smoke screen, a deception of world public opinion and an excuse bestowed on those who are hurrying to normalize relations with the Zionist entity.

Our people have affirmed, in a way that allows no room for doubt, their firmness, and their commitment to their rights despite the policy of judaization, settlement, and land expropriation. They have affirmed the depth of their ties to their cause and the tenacity of their adherence to their sacred, national rights.

On the occasion of the Day of the Land, the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine reaffirms its commitment to the following:

1. The legitimate right of our people to resist the occupation to win back all of our national rights.

2. The adherence to the Palestine Liberation Organization as the representative and a comprehensive framework for our people wherever they are, affirming the need to renew and activate its various agencies and institutions and to elect a new Palestine National Council in which all the political forces and trends on the Palestinian stage participate in order to activate and develop the institutions of the PLO on the basis of devotion to fixed Palestinian national principles.

3. A halt to the Palestinian-Israeli negotiations based on the Oslo agreements and instead bringing the case of the Palestine cause to the United Nations Organization to implement the international legal resolutions that pertain to our people's cause and their fixed national rights.

4. A declaration of the establishment of the independent state of Palestine and the extension of its sovereignty over all the lands of occupied Palestine including Jerusalem by an independent resolution, without compensation or negotiation.

5. The adherence to the right of return, self-determination, and building a Palestinian national concensus on the fixed national principles. Major issues having to do with the destiny of the Palestinian people must be considered "red lines" that no one may be allowed to transgress or concede.

6. The dissolution of the Jewish settlements and the deportation of the settlers, as Palestinian sovereignty is exercised over the country's land, water, and borders.

7. The activation of committees to defend the right of return and to respond to all attempts to replace that right with compensation, settlement abroad, or eviction.

8. The holding of elections to the municipal and village councils and the Popular Committees in the refugee camps on an honest, democratic basis.

9. Considering the building of the Palestine national factor as an immediate task, particularly by means of a comprehensive national dialogue and the release of political prisoners in the Palestine Authority's prisons as a necessary prelude to creating a patriotic environment, combatting corruption, and protecting Palestinian society and the democratic nature of relations between the political and social forces.

Militant masses of our Palestinian people!

On this glorious day, we salute the prisoners and detainees in the prisons of the Zionist occupation and salute all the people and active forces of the Arab nation. We salute the heroes of the Islamic and Patriotic Resistance in the south of Lebanon and we pledge to the masses of our people and nation that we will continue in our struggle until all of the rights of our people have been attained.

Glory to the martyrs for the land, for freedom, for independence! Together and united on the path of the liberation of our land and the attainment of our national independence!

The Political Bureau -- the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine 30 March 2000 Published in "al-Hadaf", no. 1304, 26 March 2000