Arabs in Israel to commemorate "Land Day" with a central march in Sakhnin

Ahram Online , Wednesday 29 Mar 2023

Arabs in Israel will commemorate the anniversary of "Land Day" with a large-scale march in the city of Sakhnin in Lower Galilee on Thursday to renew their commitment to the land.

Palestinians mark today the 45th anniversary of Land Day. WAFA
Palestinians mark today the 45th anniversary of Land Day. WAFA


The event is organised by the Higher Follow-up Committee for the Arab Citizens of Israel, the most prominent representative body for Arabs in Israel, which has "called on tens of thousands to participate in the central march marking the 47th anniversary of Land Day".

The head of the committee, Mohamed Baraka, stated on the committee's website that "this march is a renewal of the covenant to the land and the homeland in order to defend our children, our lives, our homes, and our homeland, which is the only one we have".

Baraka warned that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and the most right-wing government in the history of Israel have "plans that constitute an existential danger and threat to us through their legislation and policies".

He added that this government has come "to deny the existence of the Palestinian people... They have come to deploy fully armed gangs in our villages and cities".

Usually, thousands of Palestinians celebrate this anniversary by participating in popular demonstrations carrying Palestinian flags.

These marches commemorate the struggle of the people of Deir Hanna, Araba, and Sakhnin in Lower Galilee against an order to confiscate thousands of dunams of their lands – considered to be among the most fertile lands for agriculture – in Al-Batouf Plain.

On 30 March, 1976, following the issuance of the confiscation order, a popular uprising took place in which six Palestinians were killed.

The uprising ended with Israel retracting the confiscation of lands.

Arabs in Israel number around 1 million and 400 thousand people; they are the children and grandchildren of 160 thousand Palestinians who remained in their lands after the establishment of the State of Israel in 1948.

They represent 17.5 percent of the population of Israel, and they complain of discrimination, especially in employment and housing.

For their part, the National and Islamic factions in Gaza will organise marches Thursday afternoon to commemorate Land Day in Malaka Camp near the border fence between the Gaza Strip and Israel.

Meanwhile, on this occasion, the Arab Parliament issued a statement in support of the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people, emphasizing its solidarity with the Palestinians in defending their land, history, holy sites, and national identity.

The Arab Parliament expressed concern over the new plan for further forced displacement of Palestinians, the acceleration of illegal settlement construction, and frequent incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque, which threaten to fuel conflicts in the region.

The statement further stresses the importance of achieving peace in accordance with UN resolutions and the Arab Peace Initiative, based on the two-state solution and called on the international community to take serious steps to end the occupation, establish an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital, and provide international protection to the Palestinian people. 

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