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30 March 2021 marks the 45th Palestinian Land Day, a day of struggle and commitment to resisting colonization, occupation and apartheid, and to achieving victory and liberation for the land and people of Palestine.
Land Day commemorates the anniversary of the mass rising in occupied Palestine ’48 in 1976 in response to Israeli land confiscation targeting 20,000 dunums of Palestinian land in the Galilee. Palestinians inside occupied Palestine ’48, who remained on their land after 80% of their people were expelled in the Nakba, confronted these new Zionist attacks with a general strike and mass popular protests, where six Palestinians were killed by occupation forces — Kheir Mohammad Salim Yasin, Khadija Qasem Shawahneh, Raja Hussein Abu Rayya, Khader Eid Mahmoud Khalayleh, Muhsin Hasan Said Taha and Raafat Ali Al-Zheir — as they defended their land.
“Kul al-turab al-watani” — the entire national land of Palestine, meaning “all of Palestine”
The Day of the Land has become a national commemoration of the entire Palestinian people, inside and outside occupied Palestine. It marks the unity of the Palestinian people in confronting Zionism, colonization and occupation and in celebrating the continuing and unbreakable ties to the land of Palestine that cannot be erased by military might. It is a day for the Palestinian refugees struggling for return and every fighter against colonialism.
In 2018, the Day of the Land once again bore witness to the popular organizing of the people, as thousands upon thousands gathered in Gaza for the Great March of Return, and occupation forces again shot down Palestinians defending their land and upholding their rights. 42 years after the first Land Day massacre, Israeli occupation forces killed 16 martyrs of the land and return, with over 200 more shot down in the marches over the months and days to come.
On Land Day, Samidoun Palestinian Prisoner Solidarity Network affirms that this day continues to reflect the commitment of the Palestinian people to liberate their land from the river to the sea and to resist all forms of colonization.