Palestinians clash with IDF on Land Day protests
Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops in two West Bank Towns on Saturday as they marked Land Day, the annual event commemorating the loss of Palestinian-held land.
Demonstrators clashed with the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) in the West Bank towns of Jayyous and Bethlehem.
Demonstrators took to the streets of Sakhnin in Israel’s north and protest at both the Erez and Rafah crossing points in the Gaza Strip.
Sakhnin saw the largest protests, with an estimated 5,500 protestors turning out. Small numbers of protestors also clashed with the IDF at the Qalandia checkpoint that separates Ramallah from Jerusalem.
Land Day commemorates the deaths of six protestors in the village of Sakhnin in 1976.
The protestors were shot when demonstrating against the confiscation of village land by Israeli forces.
Audio report - Land Day protests
Among Palestinians, it serves as a symbolic unified day of protest against forced displacement.
“It means that we did not forget our land, the ones that were taken from us," explained Rita Abu-Gosh, who was demonstrating at Qalandia. "I’m a refugee and I still believe that I want my land back. So we wanted to come here to show our support to all the refugees out there and to the Palestinians detainees in Israeli prisons.”
It was revealed last week that the Israeli Civil Administration has allocated less than one per cent of the West Bank land they control to Palestinians, compared to 38 per cent to settlers over the past 33 years.
Palestinians argue that peace can only come through the right of return to land that they were expelled from in 1948.
Israel argues that this would invalidate the two-state solution.
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