Op-Ed via Middle East Eye

UK universities must stop repressing Palestinian activism

On 30 March 1976, Palestinians across historic Palestine rallied against the Israeli state’s plans to appropriate 2,000 hectares of their land in the Galilee.

Exasperated by the state’s continuous settler colonial expansion and subjugation of the Palestinian citizens, mass demonstrations were held not only in the Galilee, but also in the Naqab, the West Bank, Gaza and in the diaspora communities. Importantly, however, this was one of the first collective, organised and popular Palestinian actions against the state from within the 1948 borders.

The main protests took place in three villages in the Galilee: Sakhnin, Arabeh and Deir Hana. They later became known as the Land Day Triangle. In response to these demonstrations, the Israeli army and police attacked the protests with serious military force, killing six Palestinians - Khayr Muhammad Yasin, Raja Hussein Abu Riya, Khader Abd Khalil, Khadija Juhayna, Muhammad Yusuf Taha and Rafat Zuhairi - and injuring hundreds.

Land Day, for many Palestinians inside Israel, was a turning point in their relations with and attitudes towards the state. Where before many had been fighting for civic equality within the system, the brutal response of the Israeli forces and the indifferent reaction from the Israeli public to their plight demonstrated with certainty that equality would never be achieved under Zionist rule.

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