On Saturday protests in Gaza marked the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return and the 43rd anniversary of Palestinian Land Day.

Teenager joins Great March of Return wearing a traditional Palestinian kuffiyah, March 30, 2019.
Teenager joins Great March of Return wearing a traditional Palestinian kuffiyah, March 30, 2019. (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

March 30, 2019, marked the first anniversary of the Great March of Return and the 43rd anniversary of Palestinian Land Day. Israel has killed 269 unarmed Palestinians and injured more than 30,000 according to the Gaza health ministry since the start of protests on March 30, 2018.

Thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters marched towards the de-facto border between Israel and Gaza to mark Palestinian Land Day and the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return  (Malaka camp, east Gaza).
Thousands of unarmed Palestinian protesters marched towards the de-facto border between Israel and Gaza to mark Palestinian Land Day and the one year anniversary of the Great March of Return (Malaka camp, east Gaza). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

Israel killed 4 Palestinian protesters including a 17-year-old boy. At Malaka camp, East Gaza, the centre of protests in Gaza, Israeli forces used live ammunition, rubber bullets and tear gas.

A young Palestinian girl screaming defiantly with chains on her hands to represent the 12 year long siege of Gaza (Malaka camp, east Gaza).
A young Palestinian girl screaming defiantly with chains on her hands to represent the 12 year long siege of Gaza (Malaka camp, east Gaza). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

Palestinian Land Day started in 1976 after an Israeli government announcement to expropriate large swathes of  land. A general strike ensued with confrontations between Palestinians and the Israeli army leading to six Palestinians being killed, hundreds injured and arrested.

Palestinian protesters launch back tear gas fired from Israeli forces standing behind the fence (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019).
Palestinian protesters launch back tear gas fired from Israeli forces standing behind the fence (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

The Great March of Return, a series of protests at the Gaza Strip, was launched on March 30, 2018. The protests demanded Palestinians be allowed to return to the land they were displaced from in current-day Israel. The protesters are speaking out against the blockade of the Gaza Strip and the US’ move of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.

Palestinian protesters standing 50 metres away from the internationally illegal border hurl stones mounted on a sling shot (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019).
Palestinian protesters standing 50 metres away from the internationally illegal border hurl stones mounted on a sling shot (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

The Great March of Return has continued despite initial plans to only last until Nakba Day, May 15, 2018.

Palestinian boy suffocating from tear gas as he approaches the border fence east of Gaza city (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019).
Palestinian boy suffocating from tear gas as he approaches the border fence east of Gaza city (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

Nakba Day, commemorated on the May 15, means “Day of Catastrophe” in Arabic. It was inaugurated by Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in 1998, fifty years after the Israeli Declaration of Independence.

Young Palestinian protesters stand defiantly amidst tear gas 20 meters away from the border fence separating Gaza and Israel. (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019).
Young Palestinian protesters stand defiantly amidst tear gas 20 meters away from the border fence separating Gaza and Israel. (Malaka camp, east Gaza, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

For Palestinians, the day marks the displacement of hundreds of thousands of Palestinians during the 1948 Palestine War, who now live in Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip with their descendants.

A Palestinian protester finds shelter behind a bush after suffering from asphyxiation due to tear gas being fired by Israeli forces, March 30, 2019).
A Palestinian protester finds shelter behind a bush after suffering from asphyxiation due to tear gas being fired by Israeli forces, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

The Palestinian right of return is a position held that Palestinian refugees and their descendants have a right to return to what is now Israel and the occupied territories, that they have left behind after the 1948 Palestine War and 1967 Six-Day War.

Saber al Ashkar, a former tailor, lost his legs during the 2014 war in Gaza and participates every Friday in the Great March of Return. March 30, 2019).
Saber al Ashkar, a former tailor, lost his legs during the 2014 war in Gaza and participates every Friday in the Great March of Return. March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

The United Nations first made a formal move to recognise the right of return in December 1948, while in 1974 it announced that the right of return is an “inalienable right”.

A Palestinian girl offers strawberries to fellow protesters at a wedding organized in a tent at Malaka camp, east of Gaza city, March 30, 2019).
A Palestinian girl offers strawberries to fellow protesters at a wedding organized in a tent at Malaka camp, east of Gaza city, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

In 1974, the right of return became the first component of the PLO’s (Palestine Liberation Organization) trinity of inalienable rights, alongside the right to self-determination and the right to an independent state.

An elderly woman carrying a Palestinian flag makes her way back from the front-line at Malaka camp, east of Gaza city, March 30, 2019).
An elderly woman carrying a Palestinian flag makes her way back from the front-line at Malaka camp, east of Gaza city, March 30, 2019). (Belal Khaled / TRTWorld)

Israel has rejected the UN position, stating in June 1948 before the UN recognition of the right of return, that the problem must be solved through the resettlement of the Palestinian Arab refugee population in other states. Israel has also reiterated its stance in a letter to the UN in 1949 and has not changed its position since.

Source: TRT World