Today, March 30, is Land Day. The Day of the Land. In Arabic, Land Day is known as Yom al-Ard.
Land Day marks one of the many tragic events that have taken place throughout Palestine's contemporary history, post-invasion. It is an annual day of commemoration for all Palestinians. It is a day that is always remembered and cherished and mourned. In 1976, Palestinians in the Galilee, the north of Palestine (where my father's side is from), demonstrated against Israel's land theft and confiscation of Palestinian land. The Israeli government declared that it would confiscate more of their land in order to build Jewish colonies.
Palestinians took to the streets and protested. Six young Palestinians were shot and killed by the Israeli Occupation Force. A hundred were injured and hundreds of others were arrested.
The six martyrs who were killed on March 30, 1976
Raja Hussein Abu Rayya (30 years old) from Sakhnin
Muhsin Hasan Said Taha (15 years old) from Kufr Kanna
Khader Eid Mahmoud Khalaila (24 years old) from Sakhnin
Khayr Mohammad Salim Yasin (23 years old) from Arraba
Khadija Qasem Shawahneh (23 years old) from Sakhnin
Rafat Ali Az-Zheiri (21 years old) from Nur Shams refugee camp
Mohamed Ballan on yansoon.net writes
I would like to urge all Palestinians—and supporters of human rights around the world—that this March 30th they remember the martyrs that fell on Land Day and every day, because Land Day is not merely a historical commemoration, it is an ongoing process. Since March 30th 1976, more Palestinian land has been confiscated, nearly 300,000 Palestinians incarcerated, tens of thousands of Palestinian lives have been destroyed, countless homes demolished, and Israeli policies have evolved in such a way which can only be termed apartheid. Debating different forms of cruelty to inflict on Palestinians is fashionable topic of debate in the Israeli press and corridors of power. Scenes of unarmed demonstrators being murdered by Israeli troops have become the norm in Palestine. Discriminatory laws have been passed against the Palestinians in Israel. Everyday has become Land Day for the Palestinian people.
Activists worldwide are demonstrating this year to both commemorate Land Day and take part in the Global March to Jerusalem. Palestinian right of return is being especially emphasised across the world during this year's Day of Land.
Below are some examples of Palestinian Land Day posters throughout the years (thanks to a friend who emailed these to me last year). Palestinian poster art is simple, figurative and embodies resistance and the struggle.
|Land Day 1981|
|Advocated by the Popular Front of the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)|
|Land Day 1986|