Monday, March 31, 2008

Land Day protest at LEVIEV New York: 60 Years of Nakbah


"New York, NY, March 29, 2008 - Saturday's Land Day protest at the Madison Avenue jewelry store of Israeli billionaire and settlement mogul Lev Leviev highlights the sixty-year Israeli campaign to displace Palestinians from their land, and Palestinian defiance and resistance - from the Nakbah, or Catastrophe, in 1948, when around 800,000 Palestinians were driven from their villages by Israeli forces to become refugees; to the original Land Day protests in 1976; to present day settlement construction by Israeli settlement builders like Lev Leviev in Bil'in, Jayyous, Jabal Abu Ghneim and Maale Adumim.

The first Land Day protests were held on March 30, 1976. Israel's Ministry of Finance confiscated 5000 acres of Palestinian land between the Palestinian villages of Sakhnin and Arraba in the Galilee in northern Israel. Construction of eight Jewish industrial villages was planned on the seized land. On March 30, 1976, Palestinian towns from the Negev to the Galilee launched a day of nonviolent protests and strikes in solidarity with Sakhnin and Arraba. Six Palestinian civilians were killed and over 100 Palestinians injured by the Israeli military and police as they violently repressed the protests. Palestinians have held Land Day protests every year since 1976, on and around March 30th.......

60 years after the Nakbah, and 32 years after the original Land Day, Israeli land seizure and repression continue in the Occupied Palestinian Territories and inside Israel, as does Palestinian resistance. The testimonies below - from refugees from the Nakbah in 1948, from Land Day protests in 1976 and from present day Bil'in and Jayyous where Leviev's companies are building settlements - demonstrate the continuity of both Israeli repression and Palestinian steadfastness and resistance that Palestinian communities in Israel, in the Occupied Territories and living in exile as refugees around the world are commemorating at protests this Land Day......"

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