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Land Day

The Great March of Return and the ‘angel of history’

Jamil Khader on

Bethlehem University’s Jamil Khader writes of the Great March of Return: “The importance of the Great March of Return lies in the way it staged a raw and unmediated confrontation between the brute high-tech power of one of the most powerful armies in the world and the bare life of thousands of unarmed people in their humanity and dignity . . the message of the march reframes the right of return and freedom not only within international human rights law, but also within an emancipatory and utopian future for all.”

From Palestine to Turtle Island: musings on border crossings

Nada Elia on

As Nada Elia crosses the U.S.-Mexico border at a crossing on the divided town of Nogales, her mind turns to the parallels of on-going dispossession experienced by the Palestinian people, and Native Americans across Turtle Island: “The few days I spent with my Native friends cemented in me the determination not just to recognize that all of Turtle Continent is indigenous (something I already grasped), but that my decolonial struggle, as a Palestinian, is incomplete if I do not link it with the decolonial struggle on this continent.  More than ever before, as we discussed the need to liberate the land, I felt that, if I am not an active part of the solution, then I am contributing to the problem.”

‘We will not wait 70 years more’: scenes from Gaza’s March of Return

Ahmad Kabariti on

Ahmad Kabariti reports from the first day of the Great March of Return in Gaza where 15 Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces. Despite the Israeli violence, there are scenes of nonviolent protest and persistence, and even a wedding. Groom Alaa Shahin tells Kabariti, “A few hundred meters away from those soldiers eyes, I emphasize my right and the whole Palestinian peoples’ right to return home after 70 years of displacement, we will not wait another 70!”

On Land Day, why does land matter this much to Palestinians anyway?

Riham Darwish on

Riham Darwish takes the opportunity of Land Day to explain why land is so important to the Palestinian people: “The 30th of March is the annual reminder of identity for generations of Palestinians, ones who still hold very dear the names of the hometowns they never visited, and may never visit.”

Israeli forces shoot unarmed protesters from across Gaza security fence, killing at least 15

Mondoweiss Editors on

The Israeli government said it would meet Gaza protesters from the “Great March of Return” with live fire across the border fence and it has followed through today, killing at least 12 Palestinians, according to early reports. The number keeps climbing. The first to be killed was a Palestinian farmer, said to be working his fields. 

‘I am here because this is our land’: Planting olives trees to mark Land Day in Al Walaja

Anne Paq on

On March 30th, the village of Al Walaja welcomed Palestinians from from surrounding areas to mark Land Day by planting olive trees. The village has lost most of its lands since 1948, in successive waves of Israeli confiscations and land grabs. Ali Khalil Al-Araj, a resident from Al Walaja, 50, said, “I am here because this is our land. We will stay here and we will defend it. My family just with the settlement and the road, we lost 50 dunums.  But we will stay and die here.”

Despite Israel’s threats of violence, Gaza protesters have peaceful dream

Enas Fares Ghannam on

“What if 200,000 Palestinians headed peacefully to cross the border, while raising a poster that says they only want to go back to their land? What would happen?” It all started in 2011 with that Facebook post, the dream of a 33-year-old man in Gaza named Ahmed Abu Ratima. The Great March of Return will start on Land Day, March 30, and will continue for six weeks until May 15, which commemorates the Nakba, when hundreds of thousands of Palestinians were forced from their homes to make way or the creation of Israel. Palestinian refugees living in Gaza will set up tents near the border and move gradually—and peacefully—closer.

Palestinians march in Negev to protest Bedouin evictions on 40th ‘Land Day’ commemoration

Allison Deger on

Palestinian citizens of Israel today marked “Land Day,” an annual commemoration of protests that began 40 years ago on March 30, 1976 when Israeli police killed six during a demonstration over land confiscations. As in years past, a general strike was announced for one day, and thousands protested in the north and the south of the country in opposition to a similar looming round of land expropriations.

Palestinians commemorate 40th anniversary of Land Day

Sheren Khalel and Abed Al Qaisi on

Palestinians across the occupied West Bank on Wednesday gathered to commemorate the 40th anniversary of “Land Day.” The first Land Day, on March 30, 1976, saw thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in protest of the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land in the northern Galilee region of Israel. During the protest, six demonstrators were shot dead and over 100 were wounded. Forty years later, Palestinians are still taking to the streets in protest of massive Israeli land grabs.

The first Land Day, on March 30, 1976, saw thousands of Palestinians take to the streets in protest of the confiscation of thousands of acres of Palestinian land in the northern Galilee region of Israel. During the protest, six demonstrators were shot dead and over 100 were wounded.

Forty years later, Palestinians are still taking to the streets in protest of massive Israeli land grabs.

Palestinians mark the 39th anniversary of Land Day

Allison Deger on

Today, March 30th Palestinians in Israel and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, marched for Land Day, Yom al-Arda in Arabic, which commemorates protest in the Galilee in 1976 where six Palestinian citizens of Israel were killed.

Unlikely Jerusalem village takes the lead on Land Day

Allison Deger on

Land Day is an annual commemoration of six killed during a 1976 march against land expropriations in the Galilee. Last year Palestinians protested in thousands to mark Land Day. This year’s protests, at Qalandia, Damascus Gate and the southwest Jerusalem village of Beit Safafa, failed to capture the same momentum– and may signal a change in Palestinian attitudes about demonstrations.

Scenes from Qalandiya, Land Day 2012

Leehee Rothschild on

The sirens of the ambulances won’t stop for a minute, and they combine with the screams to create a horrible cacophony. Different sorts of explosions give the beat to the soundtrack of Qalandia.

Land Day vs. the ‘Jewish State’: an interview with Haneen Zoabi

Elsa Rassbach on

Palestinians mark ‘Land Day’ on March 30th to commemorate the first widespread struggle of Palestinian citizens of Israeli against land confiscation and the Israeli policy of Judaization. Elsa Rassbach interviews Haneen Zoabi to discuss the enduring legacy of Land Day and issues currently facing Palestinian citizens of Israel.

Memories of the first Land Day

Hatim Kanaaneh on

Yesterday we posted a Land Day reflection from Dr. Hatim Kanaaneh, and Max Blumenthal referenced his book A Doctor in Galilee: The Life and Struggle of a Palestinian in Israel in his Land Day post as well. Dr. Kanaaneh has been kind enough to allow us to republish an excerpt from his book describing his […]

Land Day Tigers

Hatim Kanaaneh on

The Land Day memorial in Sakhnin. (Photo: ifpbphotos) The headline in Haaretz announced: “Police gearing up for possible Land Day trouble.” I called my village body and asked him what to make of that. Toufiq agreed that it foreboded ill. Thirty-five years have taught us all how to avoid violent confrontations between large numbers of […]

On Land Day, the Jewish National Fund’s racist legacy is exposed

Max Blumenthal on

“The complete evacuation of the country from its other inhabitants and handing it over to the Jewish people is the answer.” –Jewish National Fund director Yosef Weitz, March 20, 1941 “The Jewish National Fund is the caretaker of the land of Israel, on behalf of its owners – Jewish people everywhere.” –Jewish National Fund mission statement […]