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Land Day: What happened in Palestine in 1976? | Israel War on Gaza News

Every year on March 30, Palestinians hold protests and vigils and plant olive trees to reaffirm their connection to the land.

Every year on March 30, Palestinians celebrate Land Day, or Yom al-Ard, recalling the events of March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinians were killed and more than 100 injured by Israeli forces during protests against the confiscation of Palestinian land by Israel.

How much land has Israel confiscated?

Israel ordered the confiscation of 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land belonging to Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Galilee. These plans were part of the Israeli state’s policy to Judaize the Galilee after the establishment of the State of Israel.

The confiscated land is roughly the size of 3,000 football fields or the area from the tip of Manhattan to Central Park in New York, United States.

What do Palestinians do on Land Day?

Palestinians, both in Israel and the occupied territories, mark the day by holding protests and vigils and planting olive trees to reaffirm their connection to the land. Protests are often met with brutal use of force by Israel.

A woman waving the Palestinian flag
Um Ahmad al-Banna was injured during the March of Return protests and joined Land Day commemorations in Gaza in 2022 (Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera)

Does Israel continue to seize land?

Yes, Israel has continued to seize large swaths of Palestinian land, designating them as military zones, state land and other labels.

Most recently, on March 22, 2024, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich said Israel was seizing 800 hectares (1,977 acres) in the occupied West Bank, in a move that would facilitate the construction of more illegal settlements.

“While there are those in Israel and around the world who seek to undermine our right to Judea and Samaria and the country in general, we are promoting settlement through hard work and strategically throughout the country.” , Smotrich said, using biblical names. for the region commonly heard in Israel.

The settlements – illegal under international law – are exclusively Jewish communities built on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On March 6, Israel’s Settlement Planning Authority announced that it had approved the construction of some 3,500 new housing units in Maale Adumim, Kedar and Efrat in the occupied West Bank.

INTERACTIVE Israel approves new housing settlements-1711620519

From November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023, Israel approved the construction of at least 24,000 illegal housing units on Palestinian land.

Earlier this month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Turk said settlements had expanded at a record pace and risked eliminating any chance of a Palestinian state.

News Source : www.aljazeera.com
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