Israeli Forces 'Target Journalist' in Land Day Protest near Jerusalem
Saturday March 29, 2014 17:16 by Chris Carlson - 1 of International Middle East Media Center Editorial Group
Planting borderland with olive trees marks Land Day in Gaza
Israeli forces hit a journalist with a tear gas canister during clashes in the Jerusalem governorate as Palestinians marked Land Day, according to a local popular committee spokesman.
Hani Halabiyya told Ma'an News Agency that Palestinian journalist Rami Illariyya, who works for al-Quds newspaper, was targeted by Israeli troops and hit with a high-velocity tear gas canister in al-Eizariya.
Dozens of youth were hurt by tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes with Israeli forces in al-Eizariya and nearby Abu Dis, Halabiyya said.
He added that Israeli forces arrested 18-year-old Ahmad Khalid Warrad during the clashes, which lasted for over three hours.
An Israeli army spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.
Land Day commemoration marks the death of six Palestinian citizens of Israel, who took part in a general strike in protest of an Israeli decision to confiscate privately owned Palestinian lands in 1976.
The buffer zone is between 500 meters and 1500 meters into the Strip, effectively turning local farms into no-go zones.
WAFA reports that the PLO Executive Committee issued, Saturday, a press release on the Land Day occasion.
The press release read that Land Day is marked amidst “an intensifying settlement attack aimed at seizing more Palestinian lands, consolidating the Israeli occupation and preventing the establishment of an independent and viable Palestinian state on lands occupied by Israel since 1967”.
It also stated that the occasion is marked as Israel makes persistent “attempts to undermine the terms of reference of the peace process as stipulated in relevant United Nations resolutions and principles of international law and replace it with a new terms of reference based on the Israeli settlement-based occupation facts.”
It stressed the Palestinian people “hanging on to their legitimate national rights, first and foremost the complete Israeli withdrawal from all lands that have been occupied by Israel since June 5 1967, the right of return, the right to self determination as well as the right to independence and establish the Palestinian state with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
It underscored its absolute refusal to any [framework deal] draft that violates the terms of reference of the peace process as well as attempts to force Palestinian leadership to recognize Israel as a ‘Jewish state’.
It called upon UN institutions to put in place mechanisms that would ensure the implementation of recent resolutions taken by the UN Human Rights Council in favor of Palestine.
It also called upon the US to stop dealing with double standards when dealing with the Palestinian people’s rights and principles of international law.
In Gaza, Al Ray reports that the Ministry of Agriculture, on Saturday morning, commemorated the 38th anniversary of Land Day by planting a number of olive trees in the area of Khor Zanon east of Jabalia town, in the northern Gaza Strip.
According to UNOCHA, 17 percent of Gaza's total land area and 35 percent of its agricultural land were within the buffer zone, as of 2010, directly affecting the lives and livelihoods of more than 100,000 Gazans.
Israeli forces on Friday dispersed a protest commemorating Land Day in the Nablus village of Burin, a PA official said.
Ghassan Daghlas told Ma'an that villagers had aimed to plant olives trees in Burin following the demonstration, but Israeli forces fired stun grenades and tear gas at the crowds.
A number of activists suffered tear gas inhalation.