March 30 — 40th Anniversary of Palestinian Land Day
Palestinians Commemorate Land Day
– Mohammed Asad –
Palestinians celebrate Land Day in the Gaza Strip. (M. Asad)
From its creation in 1948, Israel has made the conflict in occupied Palestine about the theft of land and the ethnic cleansing of the population of Palestine’s Christians and Muslims. On March 30, 1976, inside Israel, six Palestinians were murdered by Israeli soldiers when they protested Israel’s plans to confiscate more lands in the embattled Palestinian towns in Israel, but sparked solidarity with Palestinians and the rest of the world and recognition of Israel’s true intent
March 30, is an annual day of commemoration for Palestinians of the events of that date in 1976.
It began on March 11, 1976 when Israel’s government announced plans to expropriate 21,000 dunams [or roughly 21 million square metres] of land owned by Palestinians for security and settlement purposes. The settlements were built on lands taken forcibly by the Israeli military from Palestinians living inside Israel. The lands were given to Jewish immigrants and the non-Jews were warned to stay away.
Palestinians organized a general strike to protest the racial discrimination which is the foundation of Israel’s Apartheid-like system inside Israel itself against non-Jews. Peaceful marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Negev inside Israel.
Israel dispatched thousands of Israeli soldiers, heavily armed police and even heavily armed Settlers to confront the Palestinian protests. In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were murdered. About one hundred Palestinians were seriously injured, and hundreds of others were arrested and jailed.
It is commemorated not only inside Israel by Israel’s so-called “Arab citizens,” but also by Palestinians in the lands occupied in 1967, and throughout the World.
Palestinians around the world pause to remember this one incident that is the face of Israel’s constant and unrelenting aggression.
In Gaza, Palestinians began demonstrations of dozens of farmers in support of Land Day on the border areas and planted olive trees.
Palestinians celebrate Land Day in the Gaza Strip, planting trees to symbolize the Palestinian refusal to surrender to Israel war crimes, apartheid and aggression.
1. Mohammed Asad is a photo journalist based in the Gaza Strip. Friend him on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/mohammed.asad.90.
His photo of 9-yr old Dalia Khalifa titled ‘Unbreakable’ won the Grand Jury Winner in the photography competition organised by the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs in the Middle East and North Africa (UN OCHA) in March 2015. The photo of Dalia Khalifa was taken at Al-Shifa Hospital on August 9, 2014 after she was badly injured in an Israeli air strike during Operation ‘Protective Edge.’
2. Mohammed Asad’s home in Shujaiyya was destroyed by Israeli missiles, mortars and tank fire on Friday August 1, 2014 while he was documenting the Israeli massacre of civilians in the Gaza Strip. He is now living in temporary housing as he scrambles to find Internet access to share his photographs when possible.
(thearabdailynews.com, March 29, 2016)