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ISRAEL: A day of protests

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Extra police deployed throughout Israel and the West Bank Sunday as Palestinians marked the annual protest known as Land Day.

Thousands of demonstrators turned out in several cities to decry what they say is the ongoing Israeli confiscation of Palestinian land and homes.

In the northern Arab town of Sakhnin a vigil marked the first Land Day in 1976 when Israeli police killed six protesters.

A 2,000-strong march took place Saturday in Jaffa — a coastal Arab city that has become a focal point for tense land disputes. Rights groups there are protesting eviction and demolition orders on hundreds of homes on the grounds of construction violations.

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Dov Khenin, a leftist Israeli Knesset member, said the event serves as an annual reminder of the plight of Palestinian communities deep inside Israel.

‘Land Day is more relevant than ever,” he said. “The entire Israeli public should assist the Arab community in their struggle for equality in their homeland.’

Israeli troops used tear gas to disperse a protest near Nablus, but there were no serious injuries reported.

— Ashraf Khalil in Jerusalem


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