Land Day: 30thMarch – A day to remember the
Palestinian struggle for land

In 1976, the Israeli government published a plan to
confiscate vast tracts of Arab-owned land in the Galilee region and use them
for settlements, pursuing its colonisation process.

On 30 March 1976, thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel
gathered to protest the Israeli plan. There was a lot of anger at Israel’s land
appropriation policy and the ongoing discrimination against the Palestinian
Arab minority living in Israel.

Following the protests, 6 Palestinians were shot dead by the
Israeli military; hundreds were wounded and hundreds of others were jailed. March
30 was then commemorated as Yawm al-Ard or the Day
of the Land
.

The events of the day were unprecedented. After years of
occupation, this day was the first act of mass resistance by Palestinians
inside Israel to protest the expropriation’s policy. Land Day became a symbol for the
struggle of Palestinians to preserve their land from
confiscation.
It also became a day to reaffirm that Palestinians remaining
in the areas on which Israel was declared in 1948 are part of this struggle.

“Historically,
Land Day was a very important turning point in the lives of Palestinians after
the Nakba, especially
those who remained in the Israeli state” –
Abir Kopty, Popular Struggle
Coordination Committee.

Land Day is commemorated annually by Palestinians in
the West Bank, Gaza Strip, East Jerusalem, in the refugee camps in Lebanon and Jordan and among
the Palestinian diaspora worldwide. 39 years later, the
demonstrations seem as relevant as ever, as Israel continues to confiscate Palestinian
land and to expand settlements.

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Read more articles about Land Day:

–         
Gazans
mark Palestinian Land Day
–         
Argentina
marks Palestinian Land Day
–         
On
Land Day: Israel Controls More Than 85% of Historical Palestine
–         
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi on the 39th
Commemoration of Land Day
–         
What
is Palestine’s Land Day?