Israeli security forces were put on special alert on Sunday (30 March) because of possible violence on the fourth anniversary of Land Day.
SV PAN: Closed shops in East Jerusalem on Land Day anniversary (2 shots)
SV: israeli soldiers on wall PULL BACK TO soldiers and more closed shops
GV: Procession in Arabe village towards road block where burning tires are sending smoke into air.
SV: People around road block where tires burning.
SV; Demonstrators in Arabe marching behind tractors holding placards.
SV PAN: Women demonstrators moving through village of Arabe
GVd: large crowds of demonstrators walking through village of Arabe. (2 shots)
SV: Demonstrators waving flags and banners at meeting in Taibe.
SCU PAN: Arab leaders walking on rostrum at meeting
GV: large crowds listening to speeches at meeting.
CU PAN TO GV: Arab leader speaking on rostrum with crowds applauding.
GV AND SV: Groups of men and women listening to speech (3 shots)
SV: Another speaker addressing crowd
GV: Crowd applauding
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Israeli security forces were put on special alert on Sunday (30 March) because of possible violence on the fourth anniversary of Land Day. On March 30, 1976 six Arabs died during violent protests against Israeli expropriation of their lands in Galilee. The day was dubbed Land Day by West Bank leaders.
SYNOPSIS: In East Jerusalem, crowded with Christian tourists on Palm Sunday, Arab traders closed their shops to commemoration the Land Day violence. Traders in other West Bank towns followed suit, and Israeli security forces kept a close watch, fearing more violent protests. The police and Civil Guard were ordered to comb market places, entertainment centres and residential areas.
In Arabe, as in a number of other Arab villages, police issued special permits for processions on Land Day. But the protests were confined to marches and tires set alight in the streets. Nevertheless, the it was the biggest active demonstration of the growing Arab hostility to israeli government moves on the land issues since the deaths four years ago.
In his latest move, israel's Prime Minister Menachem Begin is planning to introduce a law which would allow Israelis to settle anywhere in the occupied West Bank. The law would prevent present and future settlements from being dismantled. The Begin government believes if it is defeated at the next election, the incoming administrations might abandon settlements with no security value. The law would compel any new government to appeal to parliament before any settlement could be removed.
Arab leaders have expressed their contempt for the Begin government's settlement policies on many occasions, and Sunday's Land Day rallies all over the West Bank were no exception. In their latest attempt to get international backing for their demands, the Arabs are trying to persuade the United Nation's Security Council to approve the establishment of a Palestinian State. The draft resolution before the Security Council was largely prepared by the Palestine Liberation Organisation, and it also demands israel's withdrawal from all its occupied territories. The resolution, however is widely expected to be vetoed by the United States.
Sunday's call for action came from Several West Bank mayors and the Arab National Guidance Council, an unofficial group of pro-PLO leaders on the West Bank. Their call was backed even in Gaza with a two-hour strike, but in Israel most workers reported for work as usual.