Search JTA's historical archive dating back to 1923

Arabs in Israel and the West Bank Mark Land Day

April 3, 1984
See Original Daily Bulletin From This Date

The eighth annual observance of Land Day was generally peaceful among Israeli Arabs who marked the occasion in Galilee but there was sporadic violence on the West Bank over the weekend where five Arab youths were wounded by Israeli security forces.

In the Arab-populated areas of Israel, demonstrations were held in several towns and villages. Police reported “only some trivial incidents” such as the flying of Palestinian flags, a few tires burned on the roads, anti-Israel slogans scrawled on walls and, in one village, the distribution of leaflets bearing swastikas.

About 2,000 Arabs marched peacefully from Sakhnin to Araba, the Galilee villages which were the focus of the events of March 30, 1976 that gave rise to Land Day. At that time the expropriation of Arab lands for Jewish lookout settlements and military training purposes led to widespread unrest, including serious riots during which Israeli soldiers shot and killed six local Arabs.

Land Day has since become a rallying point for anti-Israel protest, usually more provocative on the West Bank than in Israel proper. The organizers of this year’s observances in Galilee in fact, sought to turn the occasion into a call for Arab-Jewish cooperation.

On the West Bank, Arab demonstrations took a more serious turn. Jewish buses were stoned, roads were blocked by burning tires and rioting broke out in refugee camps. Security forces used tear gas to disperse the rioters and, in one case, fired at the legs of the most unruly demonstrators, wounding five.

Recommended from JTA