Archive for April 2nd, 2012

Land Day (Arabic: يوم الأرض‎, Yom al-ArdHebrew: יוֹם הַאֲדָמָה‎‎, Yom HaAdama), March 30, is an annual day of commemoration for Palestinians of the events of that date in 1976. In response to the Israeligovernment’s announcement of a plan to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for “security and settlement purposes”, a general strike and marches were organized in Arab towns from the Galilee to theNegev.[1][2] In the ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army and police, six Arab citizens were killed, about one hundred were wounded, and hundreds of others arrested

As we were joining the global march to Jerusalem on march 30th, We commemorated land day ( March 30th) on , March 29th. We marched to Beit Hanoon to plant olive trees  sing Palestinian song’s, the men perform dabka and we bake bread on Palestinian land , metres from the Erez  border, constantly under the watchful eye of Israel. Internationals and Palestinians together gathered, walked and celebrated the traditions of palestine, even after “security’ came to advise us to leave.

Global March to Jerusalem:

 Jerusalem and all of Palestine need to be liberated, redeemed and restored as a land of freedom and coexistence by people of the world from all religious and cultural backgrounds.

On 30 March 2012, from all continents we will converge and gather along the Palestinian borders with Jordan, Egypt, Syria and Lebanon, with the participation of delegations joining us from every country in the world in a peaceful march towards Palestine

For a little while that morning, it was a good day……….We ate breakfast with friends and met with fellow irish men and women and maybe even forgot what may be about to happen. We gathered together in Beit Hanoun to share a meal of rice and lentils with some more friends and activists and speak about the upcoming event,……….Land day and the Global March to Jerusalem combined, but very soon the scenario began to unfold and our good day became a living nightmare.

In Gaza strip, Occupied Palestine, The Palestinians and those internationals in solidarity are prevented from reaching their destination  and forcibly driven several miles back from the Erez crossing. Already, Medics are treating the injured, Ambulances rush by us, Large sticks are used  and weapons brandished against unarmed protesters and there is not an Israeli in sight.

We head further away from the border and join hundreds more demonstrating, Many Palestinian flags are being waved,  interspersed with flags of solidarity from other countries, the Irish tricolour proudly being waved continuously by Derek.

beit Hanoun, Land day Gaza

Being forced back from Erez. Picture by Hussien Amody

Smoke rises in the air, thick black smoke, Security forces on horse back patrol the crowds, uniformed men swing sticks, batons and hold guns , demonstrators chant, push forward , are pushed back, . The air is thick with tension, fear, determination.

Later , some of the crowd manage to break down the barbed wire at the border, Palestinians throw stones , Israel opens fire. Many are injured, shot mainly in in their feet or legs   but Mahmoud Zaqoet , 20 years old, is fatally shot.

The injured are carried in colleagues arms or on the backs of motorcyles to the awaiting ambulances which are kept many metres back from the crowds.  By now, the smoke in the air is tinged with the smell of tear gas and the day that had started so nicely finished with pictures of death and violence and the continued occupation in Gaza.

Pictures by Jeff Bright, Jeffrey Bright Photojournalist on facebook.

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Click here for a summarised report of how the day unfolded:


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