‘Arab spring’ not expected to provoke mass Land Day protest

Land Day has been a day of protests and general strikes in the Arab sector for more than 30 years.

March 29, 2011 02:54
1 minute read.
Demonstration marking Land Day in Sakhnin

Israeli Arab protesest 311. (photo credit: Ammar Awad/Reuters)


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Police don’t expect anything out of the ordinary for this year’s Land Day on Wednesday, saying that the normal security procedures taken each year have not been changed.

Israel Police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said that “standard police security measures will be implemented as they were in previous years."

Each police command will make assessments based on their needs, with an emphasis on the northern district and the Jerusalem district.”

Rosenfeld said that, in spite of the recent popular uprisings throughout the Arab world, police are not expecting out of the ordinary, unusually large demonstrations this year.

Land Day has been a day of protests and general strikes in the Arab sector for more than 30 years, and is held to mark the anniversary of the 1976 killing of six Galilee Arabs in clashes over land confiscations.

In recent years, the day has been overshadowed by annual commemorations of the October 2000 riots, in which 13 Israeli Arabs were killed in clashes with the army and police.

This year’s protests will include a march in Lod from the site of the demolished Abu-Eid family homes to the local municipality on Tuesday, followed by protests in the northern village of Arrabe and in the unrecognized and repeatedly demolished Beduin village of al-Araqib in the Negev on Wednesday. On Friday, protesters plan to mark Land Day with a demonstration in Jaffa.

Nadim Nashif, director of Baladna, the Association for Arab Youth, said that this year’s Land Day, as in every year, will include a general strike in the Arab sector.

However, since it is in the middle of the work week, it may be a bit harder to get people to take part.

Nashif said he didn’t feel that the recent revolutions in the Arab world would have a big impact on the Land Day demonstrations, saying “demonstrations and protests were always a big part of the protest here. It wasn’t like the other states in the area, where protests were kept down always and [were] always contained, and then suddenly it all explodes at once.”

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