Palestinians both inside Palestine and in the diaspora are commemorating Land Day which falls tomorrow in order to stress their commitment to their right to the land and their ownership of it.
Land Day dates back to March1976 when the Israeli authorities seized thousands of acres of privately owned land in areas with a Palestinian majority population. This sparked an open strike and marches from Galilee to the Negev and clashes erupted resulting in the death of six Palestinians and the wounding and arrest of hundreds.
Commemoration of this day signifies its historical significance and stresses the Palestinians’ defence of their rights and their willingness to resist for the sake of it. It also signifies the ideological ties to the land, especially to Jerusalem, which is shared by millions across the world.
The Palestinians in the Gaza Strip translated this by organising a number of marches. Farmers, along with Palestinian youth groups, planted olive trees 300 metres away from Gaza’s border with Israel in order to compensate for the trees that were uprooted by the occupation during past Israeli attacks and wars.
These vigils and marches are also held in solidarity with the farmers who are often shot at by Israeli forces even during times of truce.