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What You Need to Know About Palestine’s ‘Land Day’ (& Why You Should Care)

Land Day, which was on March 30, marks a day of tragedy among Palestinians and Israelis based on the events that happened 40 years ago, especially for Arab citizens living in Palestine and Israel. This event is one of the reasons Palestine and Israel clash to this day.

In 1976, the Israeli government’s announced a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for state purposes. In response, a general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Negev.

Palestinians weren’t only protesting about land theft but they were protesting about the settler colonial policies that were created between Palestine and Israel because of the conflicts over who gets a specific amount of land.

In the uprising of the events and confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six unarmed Arab citizens were killed, about 100 were wounded, and hundreds others arrested.

Since then, Land Day became an important date for Palestinians and their government.

Even though this incident happened 40 years ago, both Israelis and Palestinians have not let this go.

Some commemorate the event by remembering, holding prayers, and coming in being united with their people. However, other people are still having issues and are doing something about it.

Israel’s military deployed more than 100 snipers on the Gaza Strip border near the mass Palestinian protest that occurred due to Land Day. Large crowds came together in tent cities and in five locations along the border in a six-week-long protest. There were protests toward the Israeli government to return their Palestinians refugees that they kept in Israel.

Israeli soldiers were confronted by frequent violent Palestinian protests that occured in Gaza border and the protesters used tear gas, rubber bullets, hurled rocks at them, or petrol bombs them.

This all happened because of land confiscation.

The protest is supposed to end on May 15, which is the day Palestinians call it the “Nakba” or “Catastrophe”, marking the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinian due to the creation of Israel, which was an issue and problem for them in 1948 and still is a problem for them till this day.

What Palestinians hoped to get out of these protests is to demand Israel to return five million of Palestinians refugees back to Palestine. They want to make sure people remember this event as well. Israel is worried a little bit because they are not sure what going to happen later on and to their people, who they are trying to make sure is safe during these protest. But, the Israeli government is figuring out how they going to handle this issue.  

Based on the research and facts, I feel this makes this a complicated situation for me to choose a side to be because I feel both sides are right in their own way.

I think it’s about time they actually try to settle lands between them evenly, because they have been fighting about this issue since 1948, when Israel was established. They literally need to pull a map and divide things equally. I looked at the map of Israel and Palestine, I can see why Palestine would be upset by this land issue, because it does look like Palestine have less land than Israel and I couldn’t find them on the map either. It took me five maps until I found Palestine.

I also believe Israeli army and police should apologize to Palestinians for the incidents that took place in Land Day and Palestinians should stop being violent and aggressive with the Israeli military, unless they are harming in some way, then that’s self-defense.

But, a peaceful protest could work best because that message will be conveyed and presented better because and more people will understand why there are protests. It will help people know about the issue better and understand it.

Another thing they can due to resolve this conflict is for the Israeli government to return Palestinians refugee back home. They are suffering long enough. Let them go home and see their families. It’s not fair that they can’t go home, where they belong.

If it happened to Israelis, they would’ve been doing the same things as Palestinians. By opening the gates and setting them free, this will be one of the reasons why Israel and Palestine can get along in the future.

I watched and heard about the Palestine and Israel conflict for years and I really want them to resolve their issues and get along.

And I hope one day that they will.

 

I study journalism at Temple University. I’m desi and the happiest person anyone could ever meet. I love writing, reading, and dancing.
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