Israeli military forces have clashed with Palestinian protesters as thousands of Palestinians gathered for the annual demonstrations marking the Land Day, which commemorates 1976 protests in which six people were killed by Israel.
On Thursday, large groups of Palestinian protesters marched from the central West Bank town of Beit Jala, located 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, to the Cremisan Valley, where the Israeli military has expropriated some 3,000 acres of Palestinian farming terrain and constructed a separation barrier.
Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades at Palestinians as soon as they reached the Israeli army checkpoint at Cremisan.
The area was partially covered with a cloud of smoke, causing several demonstrators to cough and wheeze. Some of the protesters managed to climb up the four-meter-high fence in the area, and installed national Palestinian flags on it.
Elsewhere in the northern West Bank village of Madama, Israeli forces attacked Palestinians who were attempting to plant seedlings.
The troopers fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters, leaving dozens of Palestinian protesters injured. More than a dozen demonstrators suffered tear gas inhalation.
A few thousand protesters also raised the Palestinian flag and chanted slogans at a protest in Deir Hanna in northern Israel.
During the first Land Day in 1976, scores of Palestinians protested against the Israeli regime’s expropriation of 2,000 acres of land surrounding Palestinian villages in Galilee region.
Six Palestinians were killed and more than 100 were injured when Israeli forces crushed the protests.
Every year since 1979, Palestinians gather on March 30 to commemorate the event, denounce Israel’s ongoing seizure of Palestinian land, and reaffirm their connection to the occupied territories.