Gaza, ALRAY – Palestinian people are marking on Tuesday the 45th anniversary of Land Day by holding a series of activities in areas seized or threatened with confiscation by the Israeli occupation authorities.
The activities include planting olive trees and reclaiming lands, in addition to various events that are due to be held in Palestinian towns and villages in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948 and Palestinian refugee camps in the diaspora.
On 30 March 1976, the Israeli occupation authorities expropriated nearly 21,000 dunums of Palestinian land in the towns of Arraba and Sakhnin, sparking a mass popular Palestinian intifada (uprising).
The land confiscation order coincided with a curfew imposed at five o’clock a day earlier by the Israeli occupation authorities in the Palestinian towns of Sakhnin, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Tur'an, Tamra, and Kabul at.
Responding to a call by the Palestinian Land Defense Committee, the Palestinians rejected this move and took to the streets to protest it.
After breaking into Sakhnin, Kafr Kanna, Arraba, Deir Hanna, Al-Tiba, Tur'an, and Umm al-Fahm, the Israeli occupation forces violently suppressed the popular, peaceful demonstrations, killing six Palestinian citizens, including a young woman and a child, and injuring hundreds of others, before the Israeli occupation government backtracked on its decision.
The Israeli occupation government called the project the “Galilee Development Project”, which was aimed at completely Judaizing the whole area.
If implemented, the plan would have directly affected 75 per cent of Palestinians, whose main source of livelihood was working on their land.
Between 1948 and 1972, the Israeli occupation authorities confiscated more than one million dunums of land in the Palestinian villages in the occupied Galilee and Triangle area, in addition to other millions of dunums seized following the 1948 Nakba.
Nearly 1,700,000 Palestinians are now living in the Palestinian territories occupied in 1948, comprising about 20 per cent of the total population living in historic Palestine.