INTRODUCTION: Thousands of Arabs gathered in a number of Israeli cities on Monday (30 March) for the fifth anniversary of The Day of the Land.
GV Crowds carrying placards and chanting in Nazareth PAN TO large crowd at rally
TV Students marching into square and chanting (2 shots)
CU INTERIOR Crown Prince Hassan speaking at rally in Amman (3 shots)
GV INTERIOR Abu Jihad speaking at PLO rally in Beirut
CU Abu Jihad speaking and audience applauds (3 shots)
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Background: INTRODUCTION: Thousands of Arabs gathered in a number of Israeli cities on Monday (30 March) for the fifth anniversary of The Day of the Land. They were remembering eight compatriots who died in 1976 during protests against the alleged confiscation of their land by the Israeli authorities. In other Middle Eastern countries supporters gathered to assert their "attachment to Palestine, and the Centrality of the issue of the land".
SYNOPSIS: About 3,000 people, mostly youths, answered the call by the New Communist Party and radical Arab groups to a Day of the Land rally in Nazareth.
A police spokesman said the Arabs were granted permission to hold the meeting in a school yard. Although noisy and fervent it passed without incident.
However incidents in some towns on the West Bank, including one accidental wounding by gunshot in east Jerusalem were reported.
In the Jordanian capital of Amman, a number of Arab associations had called for a popular conference to support the Palestinians. Crown Prince Hassan participated, and confirmed his support during a speech.
Later Prime Minister Mudar Badran called for consolidation of Arab ranks in the face of what he called the Zionist enemy. And he condemned separate peace solutions. These solutions, he said, were started by Egyptian President Sadat and were responsible for Egypt's departure from the Arab ranks. He said that all manifestations in support of the people in the occupied territory were a source of pride to Jordanians.
The Palestine Liberation Organisation (PLO) rally in Beirut, Lebanon, heard a strong speech by Abu Jihad, number two in command of Fatah, the main Palestinian commando group. Considered a probably successor to PLO chief Yasser Arafat, Mr. Jihad gave an historic analysis of the Palestinian cause.
Mr. Jihad, one of the founders along with Mr. Arafat of Fatah, is considered a pragmatic moderate who has won the confidence of both conservative Arab states and several Soviet bloc countries. He too attacked the appropriation of land for Israeli settlements and urged the Palestinians to unite more strongly.