Land Day - Israel's expropriation in 1976

Palestinians remember protest that killed six

30 March, 19:11

    (ANSAmed) - TEL AVIV, MARCH 30 - Palestinians commemorate Land Day every March 30 to remember the first protest in 1976 against the Israeli government's expropriation of land surrounding Palestinian villages in the Galilee. Six Israeli Arabs were killed and 100 others were wounded in clashes with the Israeli army, according to reports at the time. Protesters were demonstrating against the expropriation of Arab properties to build Jewish settlements in northern Israel.

    The protests followed the announcement made by the Israeli government of a plan to expropriate some 100 dunam (one dunham is approximately 1000 square meters). Arab organizations called a general strike and organized marches in several Arab cities in Israeli territory, from Galilee in the north to Negev in the south. The clashes that ensued led to the casualties and to dozens of arrests among demonstrators.

    Since then, March 30 has become for Palestinians and Israeli Arabs 'Yom al-Ard', or Land Day, which is commemorated in the Territories (including Gaza) and in the Arab part of Israel.

    To mark Land Day - and for six weeks until the day of Israel's birth in May 1948, which Palestinians called 'Nakba' (catastrophe) - several 'marches for the return' of Palestinian refugees are also planned. Such an issue is claimed by Palestinians every time a peace deal is discussed. This year Land Day and marches backed by Hamas in Gaza coincided with Passover which is celebrated starting tonight for a week.

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