Earth Day: What happened in Palestine in 1976? | News of the Israeli war on Gaza

Every year on March 30, Palestinians hold protests and vigils and plant olive trees to reaffirm their connection to the land.

Every March 30, Palestinians celebrate Land Day, or Land Day, recalling the events of March 30, 1976, when six unarmed Palestinians were killed and more than 100 injured by Israeli forces during protests against Israel's confiscation of Palestinian land.

What is the area of ​​land confiscated by Israel?

Israel ordered the confiscation of 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres) of land owned by Palestinian citizens of Israel in the Galilee. These plans were part of the Israeli state's policy to Judaize the Galilee after the establishment of the State of Israel.

The area of ​​the confiscated land is approximately 3,000 football fields, or the area extending from the tip of Manhattan to Central Park in New York, United States.

What do Palestinians do on Land Day?

Palestinians, both inside Israel and throughout the occupied territories, celebrate this day by organizing protests, vigils and planting olive trees to reaffirm their connection to the land. Protests are often met with brutal use of force by Israel.

A woman raises the flag of Palestine
Umm Ahmed Al-Banna was injured in the Return Marches and joined the commemoration of Land Day in Gaza in 2022 [Abdelhakim Abu Riash/Al Jazeera]

Is Israel still seizing territory?

Yes, Israel has continued to seize large areas of Palestinian land, classifying them as military zones, state lands, and other classifications.

Most recently, on March 22, 2024, Israeli Finance Minister Bezalel Smotrich announced that Israel was seizing 800 hectares (1,977 acres) in the occupied West Bank, in a move that would facilitate the construction of more illegal settlements.

“While there are those in Israel and in the world who seek to undermine our right to Judea and Samaria and the country in general, we are promoting settlement through hard work and in a strategic manner throughout the country,” Smotrich said, using biblical names. For the region most commonly heard in Israel.

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Settlements – illegal under international law – are Jewish-only communities built on Palestinian land in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

On March 6, the Israeli Settlement Planning Authority announced that it had approved the construction of approximately 3,500 new housing units in Maale Adumim, Kedar, and Efrat within the occupied West Bank.

Interactive Israel approves new housing units in the settlements-1711620519

From November 1, 2022 to October 31, 2023, Israel approved the construction of at least 24,000 illegal housing units on Palestinian land.

Earlier this month, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Volker Türk said settlements had expanded by a record amount and risked eliminating any possibility of a Palestinian state.

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