“The olive tree is sustainable, it represenst peace. It’s [our] identity. For people who are resisting the occupation, they say this slogan, ‘we are rooted in Palestine exactly like our olive trees.’”
Abbas Melhem, Palestinian Farmers' Union Executive Director
"WE WILL NOT LEAVE": WEST BANK LAND RIGHTS DEFENDER SPEAKS
RESOURCES BY THEME
We asked our members in Palestine for a list of suggested materials that they feel best explain their history of struggle for land rights. Click on a theme below to learn more:
UNDERSTANDING THE HISTORY OF PALESTINIAN DISPLACEMENT
- Recommended Book: "Palestinian Village Histories: Moving beyond the grand narratives of 20th century political struggles, this book analyzes individual and collective historical accounts of everyday life in pre-1948 Palestinian villages as composed today from the perspectives of these long-term refugees.
- Recommended Book: "The Palestine Nakba," which "explores new ways of remembering and commemorating the Nakba. In the context of Palestinian oral history, it explores 'social history from below', subaltern narratives of memory and the formation of collective identity."
- Timeline: Click here for the UN's timeline of the Israel-Palestine conflict.
UNDERSTANDING AGRICULTURE & ACCESS TO LAND & WATER IN PALESTINE
The Israeli occupation’s policies -- especially the policy of administrative and military divisions, and the policy of settlements’ expansion, continue to threaten Palestinians’ existence and the lives of the population, and food security, in all areas -- especially in Area C, which is rich in its natural resources and its fertile agricultural areas. Here are three suggested readings:
- This brief paper, composed by the Palestinian Farmers' Union, deals with the issue of agriculture and water and its economic and social impact on Palestine.
- This Palestinian Farmers' Union Power Point Presentation gives an overview of access to land and water in Palestine, historically.
- This Palestinian Farmers' Union Power Point Presentation, which gives historical insight into how the Israeli occupation has shaped and limited agriculture in Palestine.
HUMAN RIGHTS & ISRAELI SETTLER VIOLATIONS
WHAT HAPPENED IN PALESTINE AFTER OCTOBER 7
- Click here to read an interview with Palestinian Farmers' Union Executive Director, Abbas Melhem. He gave us an update on a 'parallel war' underway in the West Bank after the Israeli army invaded Gaza in October of 2023.
- Click here to read an interview with Arab Center for Agricultural Development's Thaer Fakhoury, reporting from the West Bank in January 2024.
- Click herefor Al Jazeera's latest updates on the "Israel-Gaza war in maps and charts."
- Click here to read +972 Magazine's report on what has happened to displaced West Bank communities.
- Read more about expected Food Insecurity In Gaza here, from Integrated Food Security Phase Classification's brochure.
- Click here to read UN Women's account of how the war in Gaza has affected Palestinian women.
KEY UN RESOLUTIONS ON PALESTINE
- Resolution 181 (1947) -- to partition Palestine into two states, one Arab and one Jewish, with Jerusalem placed under a special international regime.
- Resolution 3236 (1974) -- reaffirming the inalienable rights of the Palestinian people to self-determination, national independence and sovereignty, and the right of the Palestinians to return to their homes and property.
- Resolution 2334 (2016)-- Expressing grave concern that continuing Israeli settlement activities are dangerously imperilling the viability of the two-State solution based on the 1967 lines, and recalling the obligation under the Quartet Roadmap, endorsed by its resolution 1515 (2003), for a freeze by Israel of all settlement activity, including “natural growth”, and the dismantlement of all settlement outposts erected since March 2001.
SOUTH AFRICA V. ISRAEL (International Court of Justice)
1.Application of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide in the Gaza Strip (South Africa v. Israel) (29.12.2023)
2.Order of 26 January 2024 - (APPLICATION OF THE CONVENTION ON THE PREVENTION AND PUNISHMENT OF THE CRIME OF GENOCIDE IN THE GAZA STRIP)
International Land Coalition Original Content
- Click here to read an interview with Palestinian Farmers' Union Executive Director, Abbas Melhem. He gave us an update on a 'parallel war' underway in the West Bank after the Israeli army invaded Gaza in October of 2023. Click here to watch it on Instagram.
- Click here to read an interview with Arab Center for Agricultural Development's Thaer Fakhoury, reporting from the West Bank in January 2024. Click here to watch it on Instagram.
- Click here to read our statement of solidarity with our members in Palestine (November 2023).
- Click here to listen to what statements of solidarity from our members to our members in Palestine (December 2023).
- Click here to learn what our members organisations have been doing to support our Palestinian members during the war.
Palestinian literature & poetry
- Mahmoud Darwish’s poetry, for example, " Think of Others."
- Tawfiq Zydeh, whose poetry has been turned into music, for example, "Three Poems."
- Fadwa Tuqan, whose poetry not only speaks about the occupation, but also being a woman in Palestine.
- Edward Said, particularly his article, "Permission to Narrate”, gives a hopeful glimpse on how the world has changed since the Sabrah and Shatela Mascare.
- Ghassan Kanafani sheds light on the nitty details of ordinary life, showcasing how instances in history affect ordinary people. His collection of short stories "Land of Sad Oranges", and "Men in the Sun" are recommended.
- Suliman Mansour is contemporary artist whose work often features the watermelon. Up until the 1994 many Palestinians used watermelons in their work because under the Israeli military administration of the West Bank and Gaza, Palestinians were not allowed to raise the Palestinian flag. As the watermelon contained the same color as the Palestinian flag (red, white, green and black), it represented the the flag in art and social movements.
- Naji Al Ali a cartoonist, is know for his work "Handala," a child representing Naji Al Ali when he was forcibly displaced from his home at 10 years old. Handala, as a character always remained 10, and always turned his back towards the world, in the same way the world has turned it’s back on this little child.
Find, below, a recommended, although non-exhaustive list of organisations and news outlets that cover & support land rights in Palestine:
- Visualizing Palestine: a website "dedicated to using data and research to visually communicate Palestinian experiences to provoke narrative change."
- Jewish Voice For Peace: "the largest progressive Jewish anti-Zionist organization in the world. [Jewish Voice For Peace] is organizing a grassroots, multiracial, cross-class, intergenerational movement of U.S. Jews into solidarity with the Palestinian freedom struggle, guided by a vision of justice, equality, and dignity for all people."
- B’Tselem – The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights in the Occupied Territories: "Since B’Tselem’s inception in 1989, [it has] been documenting, researching and publishing statistics, testimonies, video footage, position papers and reports on human rights violations committed by Israel in the Occupied Territories."