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Israeli Arabs, Palestinians Mark Land Day

Protests are being held in Arab and Palestinian villages on March 30 marking Land Day, a commemoration of Israel’s seizure of Arab land and the subsequent death of six Israeli Arabs in clashes with police 28 years ago.

Along with a mass demonstration in Kafr Kana, a general strike, memorial services and processions are taking place in Arab villages in Israel’s north as well as in the Palestinian territories.

Thousands of Israeli police officers are on duty at the events, but no violence is expected. Israeli news reports imply that security is Israel’s main concern, not the message that the protesters will attempt to convey. The condemnation of Israel’s assassination of Hamas leader Ahmad Yasin is also expected to be expressed during the day’s events.

On March 30, 1976, Israel appropriated about 5,000 acres from the Arab villages Sakhnin, ‘Araba, and Dir Hanna. In the following days, Israeli police officers clashed with demonstrators and six Arab youths were killed in the violence.