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  • Palestinian demonstrators take part in a Land Day rally in the northern Israeli village of Arrabe, March 30, 2016

    Palestinian demonstrators take part in a Land Day rally in the northern Israeli village of Arrabe, March 30, 2016 | Photo: Reuters

Published 30 March 2016

Palestinians protest as Israel continues its discriminatory land policies towards its Palestinian citizens, according to a new report.

Thousands of Palestinian citizens of Israel took to the streets today to mark the 40th anniversary of Land Day, a protest against Israel's discriminatory policies towards its Palestinian minority.

The protests began after the killing by Israeli police of six Palestinian citizens of Israel in 1976 during protests against land confiscations in northern Israel's Galilee region.

Many activists and members of Israeli civil society say that things haven't improved much since then.

Adalah, an independent human rights organization and legal center in the northern, historically Palestinian city of Haifa, has released a report detailing the discrimination that Palestinian citizens of Israel still face.

The report details how the Israel Land Authority (ILA) and the Ministry of Construction and Housing, the two governmental organizations that issue permits for construction of new homes in Israel, are continuing "discriminatory land policies."

The data shows that "only 4.6 percent of the housing tenders published by the ILA in 2015" were allotted for Palestinian communities in Israel, "although the population comprises 20 percent of the citizens of the state."

This means that Israel permitted "38,095 housing units in Israeli Jewish and mixed communities, as opposed to only 1,835" in Palestinian communities.

Adalah contends that the failure to serve Palestinians is "the product of a systematic and deliberate policy since 1948 that has viewed Palestinian citizens as enemies and aliens. Accordingly, the solutions to the housing crisis for the Palestinian community in Israel must contend with the ongoing and historic injustice against the Palestinian people in a deep and comprehensive manner."

Although the demonstrations began as a protest against Israel's discriminatory policies against its own citizens, it has since spread to include protesters in the occupied West Bank and besieged Gaza Strip, in a show of Palestinian solidarity.

Just yesterday, an Israeli military court ruled that the filmed execution of an alleged Palestinian attacker in the occupied West Bank was not sufficient evidence to bring charges against the soldier who pulled the trigger.

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