Land Day protests in Qalandiya
Photo: Noam Moskovich

Tibi: Arabs have right to Israel's land

Thousands of Arab Israelis attend Land Day rallies nationwide, protest land confiscation, discrimination

Thousands of Arab Israelis took part in a Land Day marches across the country on Friday, while similar rallies in the Palestinian territories saw dozens injured.


Arab Knesset members were among the protesters, who wielded Palestinian flags. At one rally, Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi said Arabs have a right to Israel's land.


MK Mohammad Barake (Hadash), who spoke during a rally in the Galilee village of Deir Hanna, blamed the government for promoting plans to transfer Arabs residents out of towns in the Negev and other parts of the country.


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The demonstrators protested against the expulsion of Arabs from their lands and the demolition of homes.


MK Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) attended a protest event at the Negev Bedouin village of Wadi al-Naam, and addressed the housing shortage in the region.


"Land Day this year is overshadowed by a suburb construction plan that threatens to confiscate some 800,000 dunams of land in the Negev… which will cause a housing shortage worse than anything Jewish towns have experienced," he said.


"The masses say today that not only do we have rights in this land, but that we have a right to this land, and there's an immense difference," Tibi said. "The uproar is mainly over the land issue, but with that we protest against the exclusion, the discrimination and the lordliness in every area of life."


'PM expelling us from our land'

Many Arab Israelis blasted the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel for not announcing a general strike in the Arab sector on Friday.


Ismail Badrana, a protester from Sakhnin, accused Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of "trying to expel us from our lands in various ways."


"We won't let any authority to hurt us," he added. "We must continue our struggle to protect our rights, because the government continues to humiliate us by passing racist laws that target the Arab citizens of Israel."


Land Day events were also held in Kafr Kanna, Arraba and Taibe.


Hassan Shaalan contributed to the report




פרסום ראשון: 03.30.12, 17:29
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