One Palestinian was killed and dozens wounded when protests marking
Land Day turned violent in the Gaza Strip on Friday, according to
medical sources in Gaza.
Adham Abu Salmiya, a spokesperson for the emergency medical services
in Gaza, said that the 20-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad Zaqout was shot
dead by IDF forces stationed near the border with Gaza.
The IDF confirmed that dozens of Palestinians in Gaza were injured
after confronting soldiers near the border with Israel, but did not
comment on Zaqout´s death.
IDF fire also wounded at least 37 people in protests that broke our
in Beit Hanoun (Erez) and Khan Yunis, Salmiya said. Three of the
wounded were in serious condition, he added, and were receiving
Amnesty International issued a condemnation of what it termed
Israel´s "excessive use of force" on Land Day protesters.
The organization´s deputy director of Middle East and North Africa
program said in a press statement that the the human-rights group
was "extremely worried" by reports that the IDF was using live
ammunition on protesters, "particularly in the light of frequent and
persistent use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters."
Amnesty also condemned the PA for preventing protests and Hamas for
beating up protesters, calling on them both to respect freedom of
Protesters clash with security forces in West Bank
Meanwhile, Israeli police and border patrol units arrested 34
activists on Friday in clashes that took place in the West Bank and
east Jerusalem to commemorate the 36th annual Land Day. Palestinian
activists and supporters held demonstrations in east Jerusalem and
Bethlehem, while a demonstration at the Kalandiya checkpoint resulted
in the injury of several of the activists.
Thousands of protesters assembled at Kalandiya near Jerusalem, with
Palestinian youths hurling stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli
security forces, who responded by firing tear gas, stun grenades,
sound weapons and foul-smelling water to disperse the protesters.
A large number of protesters arrived at the checkpoint from Ramallah.
A number of protesters were injured and taken to local hospitals for
treatment. Israel Radio reported that those taken to hospital were
lightly injured. Among the injured was Palestinian lawmaker Mustafa
Lana Hamadeh, a Palestinian-Canadian from Ottawa, listed demands
being made as part of the protest. One of nine delegates in the
Canadian Global March to Jerusalem mission, Hamadeh said she and
other protesters were demanding "the right of return for Palestinians
and the protection of Jerusalem."
"Non-Jewish holy sites are at risk and the city itself is being
ethnically cleansed," she told The Jerusalem Post. "We are asking for
our right to re-enter Jerusalem and reclaim it for everyone, not just
In Bethlehem, dozens of protesters threw stones at an IDF checkpoint
after breaking through a line of Palestinian police. IDF troops
responded to stone throwers at the Rachel Checkpoint outside
Bethlehem with large quantities of tear gas.
Earlier, PA security forces had blocked the protesters from
approaching the checkpoint. The protesters stopped in front of the
Palestinian police and sat in the road, chanting: "To Jerusalem, we
Aharonovitch: Kalandia demonstration is "a show"
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch visited the Kalandiya
checkpoint on Friday, calling a rowdy Palestinian demonstration
taking place there a "show."
"They are throwing stones, and we are responding," Aharonovitch said.
Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino arrived in the North
Friday afternoon to inspect the deployment of officers. Police said
no unusual incidents took place in the North.
Israel Police deployed large numbers of police and border police
forces in and around Moshav Avivim near the Lebanese border Friday
morning, ahead of the expected demonstrations. Security forces set up
checkpoints to prevent protesters from encroaching on the Lebanese
border, where at least 10 people were killed in clashes that erupted
during last years Nakba Day commemorations.