World

Palestinians, Israeli Arabs mark 'Land Day' to protest policies seen as discriminatory

Palestinians carry national flags during a protest marking Land Day in front of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, March 30, 2015. Land Day commemorates riots on March 30, 1976, when six people were killed during a protest by Israeli Arabs whose property was annexed in northern Israel to expand Jewish communities. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

Palestinians carry national flags during a protest marking Land Day in front of the Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, Monday, March 30, 2015. Land Day commemorates riots on March 30, 1976, when six people were killed during a protest by Israeli Arabs whose property was annexed in northern Israel to expand Jewish communities. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)  (The Associated Press)

Palestinians and Arab citizens of Israel have marked "Land Day," an annual day of protest against what they say are discriminatory land policies by Israel.

About 2,000 protesters waved Palestinian flags and chanted slogans Monday in the northern Israeli town of Deir Hanna. Several hundred also demonstrated in the southern Bedouin town of Rahat and several dozen in east Jerusalem.

Land Day is marked annually on March 30 and commemorates the day in 1976 when Israeli security forces shot and killed six Palestinians during demonstrations.

Arab citizens make up 20 percent of Israel's population. Equality is guaranteed by Israeli law, but many Arabs complain of discrimination.

This year's Land Day comes after a bitter election campaign. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu warned of Arabs heading to the polls in "droves."