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Pro-Palestine rallies held in Syria to mark Land Day

(Xinhua)

10:45, March 31, 2012

DAMASCUS, March 30 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Palestinians and Syrians chanting anti-Israel slogans and flashing a V-sign for victory held on Friday the event "Global March to Jerusalem" in the Syrian capital to mark Land Day, an annual day of protests against Israeli land confiscations.

At the Saba Bahrat square in Damascus, the participants, waving Palestinian and Syrian flags as well as posters of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, chanted Syrian and Palestinian national anthems and held up banners reading obscenities against Israel and some Arab leaders, such as Qatari and Saudi monarchs, over their outspoken criticism to the current Syrian leadership.

"We have come here to tell the agents of America and Israel that our culture is a culture of resistance and victory and Syria will emerge stronger ... Jerusalem will return to us soon," Mayada Ahmad, a 25-year-old university student, told Xinhua during the event.

"Today is the thirty-sixth anniversary of the Land Day ... today is the day of the Global March to Jerusalem, in which Arabs, Muslims and all world liberals express their support to the Palestinian people," said Khaled Abdul-Magid, a Palestinian politician and chairman of the preparatory committee for the global march to Jerusalem.

"We are today in Damascus and the Syrian people are expressing through these marches their support to Palestine ... as Palestinians we are proud of this national position of Syria under the difficult circumstances we are facing in the region and the plot targeting the Palestinian cause," Abdul-Magid said.

Land Day commemorates the killing of six Palestinians by Israeli security forces in 1976 during a protest against the expropriation of their lands by the Israeli government in the northern Galilee region.

Since then, Palestinians have been commemorating Land Day every year with protests against the discriminatory practices by Israel.

Syria currently hosts some 500,000 Palestinian refugees since the 1948 Palestine War, and about one million Iraqis since the 2003 war in the country.

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