Dozens Reportedly Injured in On-Going Clashes between Israeli Forces and Palestinian Protesters
Jerusalem, March 30 (Xinhua-RHC) Israeli security forces clashed with Arab demonstrators on Land Day, Friday, in east Jerusalem, the West Bank and near the Gaza border, leaving dozens of people injured, Israeli media reported.
Violent confrontations erupted at the Kalandia crossing point between Jerusalem and Ramallah in the West Bank, with Palestinian protestors hurling rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, who fired rubber bullets at a group of about 10 masked stone throwers, as they tried to approach the barrier.
Police units, in a bid to break up the riot using non-violent means, fired tear gas canisters and skunk water at the demonstrators, which, mixed with the acrid smoke of burning tires, caused many of the protesters to vomit. The majority of the protesters are gathered near a mosque some 200 meters north of the junction, within the Palestinian National Authority (PNA)-controlled territory.
Numerous clashes have also been reported in other areas throughout the West Bank. In Bethlehem, demonstrators hurled Molotov cocktails at troops, and a group of some 100 people attempted to stage a march, but was blocked by Palestinian police, the Ha'aretz daily reported. In Hebron, several protestors were injured by tear gas, according to Palestinian media. In the Old City of Jerusalem, police arrested several rioters during clashes at the Damascus and Nabuls Gates. Israeli Minister of Public Security, Yitzhak Aharonovitch, arrived at the scene to assess the situation, describing the violence there as "minor disturbances."
At the Erez Crossing to the Gaza Strip, soldiers reportedly fired warning shots in the air to disperse hundreds of Palestinians who attempted to approach the closed crossing as part of events labeled the "Global March on Jerusalem." According to one report, a youth was killed and five people were injured, one of whom was listed in serious condition. A military spokesman would not confirm the report.