Palestinians mark 47th anniversary of Land Day amid calls to end Israeli occupation

by IANS |

Ramallah, March 31 (IANS) Palestinians marked the 47th anniversary of the "Land Day" amid calls to end the Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories that has been going on since 1967.

They also called for establishing an independent Palestinian state on the territories seized by Israel in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital, reports Xinhua news agency.

Hundreds of demonstrators gathered near the borders between the eastern Gaza Strip and Israel, waving Palestinian flags, carrying banners demanding an end of the Israeli occupation and establishing an independent Palestinian state, and chanting anti-Israel slogans.

Demonstrations and rallies were also held in other parts of the Gaza Strip to mark the day.

Some young people planted olive trees, with each one carrying the name of a village in historic Palestine that their grandfathers left in 1948.

In the West Bank, similar demonstrations are scheduled in several towns, villages and cities on Friday.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Ishtaye slammed the Israeli aggression as aggressive and said the Israeli occupation "is based on settlement, repression, and killing".

Ishtaye called on the Palestinians to reunite and end an internal division, mainly between Hamas and President Mahmoud Abbas Fatah Party since 2007.

The events of Land Day date back to March 30, 1976, when the Palestinians in Israel protested against the Israeli seizure of about 21,000 dunams (2,100 hectares) of village lands in the Galilee region.

The 1976 protests took place in the villages of Arraba, Sakhnin, Deir Hanna, Arab al-Sawa'id and others.

The lands in these villages were confiscated for establishing more settlements.

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