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Why Palestinians Continue To Commemorate Land Day

March 30 is a reminder that Palestinian citizens of Israel are still enduring oppression and are irrevocably tied to their land, writes Dalia Hatuqa.
Protesters hold Palestinian flags opposite Israeli security officers standing guard before Friday prayers on Land Day outside Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City March 30, 2012. Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to break up groups of Palestinian stone-throwers on Friday as annual Land Day rallies turned violent. Police said they had made five arrests at Damascus Gate. Land Day commemorates the killing by security forces of six Arabs in 1976 during protests against go

There are many historical days that Palestinians commemorate every year. For some, they are an opportunity to remember, while for the younger population, they are a chance to learn and never forget. Land Day is one of these monumental times, a day when, ever since March 30, 1976, Palestinians have been taking to the streets of the West Bank, Gaza, Israel and throughout the diaspora to protest the deaths of six of their brethren at the hands of Israeli security forces.

These victims, gunned down as they demonstrated against the Israeli decision to expropriate 14,000 of acres of land in Galilee to be used for settlements, were Palestinians living inside Israel proper. They were part of a 20% minority in a country that defines itself as democratic. They were essentially citizens of a subordinate status, continuously discriminated against by law.

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