Land Day protests reaffirm Palestinian rights to Jerusalem
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Land Day protests reaffirm Palestinian rights to Jerusalem

To see photos of the protest in Qalandiya:

To see photos from the protest in Old City of Jerusalem:


While the Palestinian Land Day protests are ongoing, the first critical injury by Israeli military occurred in Bethlehem: Ali Arafe, 20 years old, has been shot with a teargas canister in the face in front of the Caritas headquarters, close to the Qubbeh checkpoint in Bethlehem. He is in critical conditions in hospital.

Israeli military forces started the repression of the popular protests in and around Jerusalem at Qalandiya checkpoint. Some 3000 people gathered to challenge the checkpoint separating the northern West Bank from Jerusalem, chanted slogans and waved flags. Shortly after the protest started, Israeli forces charged the crowd with tear gas and rubber coated metal bullets as well as with skunk water. Many were hit by the bullets and the tear gas canisters and had to be evacuated to the hospitals. Mustafa Barghouti was hit by a tear gas canister in the head.

In the old city of Jerusalem huge crowds gathered around Damascus Gate and are as well there faced with brutal military repression. A demonstration of people of all ages, women, youth and elderly was charged with horses, tear gas and rubber-coated bullets. Women continued to chant slogans and uphold Palestinian flags and Land Day banners while Israeli military attacked the crowd. Many youth were indiscriminately arrested, many had to be evacuated to the hospitals.
Israeli helicopters are flying over the Old City.
In Bethlehem, people gathered and marched towards the Al Qubbeh checkpoint. Over a thousand people broke through the police cordon installed by the Palestinian National Authority and reached to the area in front of the Caritas compound close to the checkpoint and are currently attacked by the Israeli military with tear gas and rubber coated bullets. In addition to Ali Arafe, an old man has been hit by a teargas canister in his back and is seriously injured.

Jamal Juma', coordinator of the Stop the Wall Campaign, comments:

"The popular protests of unarmed civilians that mark each March 30 since 1976, when Israeli police killed six youth in the Galilee in protests against massive land confiscation, are once again faced brutal violence by Israeli military and police. One youth is currently in critical condition, Mustafa Barghouti, member of the organizing committe of the Global March to Jerusalem has been hit by a teargas canister, many more are injured and the repression continues…

"Yet, the message of the Palestinian movements is clear: Palestinians do not give up their rights to their land and to Jerusalem. Today we are joined in this effort by people all across the globe and in the Arab world. This day is a historic day because it has to be the start for an ongoing effort to break the siege on Jerusalem and ensure our rights and freedoms in Jerusalem and across Palestine. It is only through popular resistance supported by an effective international solidarity movement that we can achieve this."