Palestinians commemorate Land Day
Palestine-Israel, Politics, 3/31/1999
Palestinians and (Palestinians who hold Israeli citizenship) on Tuesday organized major demonstrations in memory of the Palestinian Land Day of 1976.
In a speech rally held in Kafer Kana town in northern Palestine, the Palestinian citizens commemorated the martyrs of the first uprising (Intifada) of the Land Day and committed to proceeding forward in confronting the Israeli occupation of Palestine and attempt to Judaize their lands and annex them to Israel.
Taking part in the demonstrations were several heads of Arab local councils, members of the Israeli Knesset, heads of Palestinians movements and political figures.
Markets were also closed in memory of Land Day, which falls on March 30 every year. A demonstration was held in Um al-Fahm town northeast of Tel Aviv, including some 1,000 persons. The demonstration was staged in protest against the Israeli Army's confiscation of lands to carry out military exercises, which resulted in confrontations between the police and the people of the town in April 1998 and resulted in wounding 120 persons.
In the Gaza Strip some 500 Palestinians observed a demonstration against the Israeli settlement policy outside Goush Latif settlement. In the southern part of the West Bank, some 30 Palestinian youths stoned an Israeli military position in Beit Amer town near Hebron and the Israeli soldiers retaliated with tear-gas and bullets.
Meanwhile, the Israeli occupation forces took strong security measures and reinforced the presence of their forces deloyed in the West Bank, the Gaza Strip and Hebron on the occasion of Land Day.
Chairman of the Arab follow-up committee, who is also chairman of the Arab local councils in the territories of 1948, Muhammad Zeidan, said that the Arab citizens in the territories of 1948 organized speech rallies and people's demonstrations in the Galilee and the Negev on the occasion of Land Day and in memory of the uprising carried out by the Arab citizens in the territories of 1948.
March 30, 1976 was the date when the Israeli occupation forces confiscated 22,000 dunnums in the villages of the Galilee, North Palestine and considered them as close military zones and later carried out intensive settlement acts in the area, a matter which provoked the Palestinians who confronted the settlement campaigns. The confrontations that erupted as a result claimed the lives of 6 Palestinians. 96 were wounded and other 300 were arrested.
Meanwhile, the Israeli Ministry of Housing intends to settle Israeli settlers in 650 newly-built units in the occupied Palestinian territories, especially in the holy city of Jerusalem.
Israel Radio said that chairman of the Merets movementYossi Sarid and Eitan Cable from the Israeli Labor Party called upon the Supreme Israeli Court of Justice to prevent the ministry from settling extremist settlers in these settlements out of fears over their increased provocation against the Palestinians.
On Tuesday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu presided over a meeting in occupied Jerusalem in which he discussed means of bringing new Jewish settlers from Kosovo and Belgrade to Israel.
For his part chairman of Jerusalem municipality Ehud Olmert expressed his support for the steps taken by the Israeli government led by Netanyahu in chasing Palestinian figures and preventing their activities in occupied Jerusalem.
Leader of the Israeli Labor Party Ehud Barak met on Tuesday with Olmert and discussed with him matters pertaining to the same issue.
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