30 March 2011 | International Solidarity MovementToday Palestinians in Israel, West Bank and Gaza commemorated Land Day with demonstrations and strikes. The 30th March marks the date when in 1976 the Israeli government announced plans to expropriate thousands of dunums of land for ‘security and settlement purposes’, sparking strikes and marches in Arab towns from the Galilee to the Naqab desert. The ensuing confrontations with the Israeli army resulted in the deaths of six Arab citizens and over 100 wounded. Protesters in the West Bank called for an end to land confiscations and illegal settlement expansion with many also calling for unity between political parties. Demonstrations in Gaza focused on demanding an end to the siege
Today the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics also issued a report which states that the number of housing units built in illegal Israeli settlements increased four-fold from 2009 to 2010. The report also notes that Palestinians constitute almost half of the population of historic Palestine but utilise under 15% of the land area.