Army Cracks Down on Land Day March at Qalandia

RAMALLAH, March 30, 2013 (WAFA) – Israeli soldiers Saturday fired several tear gas canisters at a peaceful protest march at Qalandia checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah forcing the participants to run for safety, said witnesses.

The protesters, marking Land Day anniversary, marched toward the army-controlled checkpoint carrying Palestinian flags and pictures of Palestinian prisoners, specifically Samer Issawi, who has been on hunger strike since August demanding his release.

Soldiers stationed in and around the checkpoint in anticipation of the march fired several rounds of tear gas canisters at the protesters, who included representatives from various Palestinian political factions.

There were no reports of injuries.

Palestinians worldwide mark every March 30 Land Day anniversary when Israeli police killed six Palestinians from inside Israel in 1976 who were protesting Israeli government expropriation of thousands of dunums of Arab land.

The event is annually observed with rallies inside the towns where the six were killed.

The central rally for this Land Day anniversary is taking place later in the day in the Galilee town of Sakhnin.

Palestinians also plant trees on land threatened with takeover by Israel on this occasion to stress their tie to the land.

Source: WAFA News