IDF: Next challenge – Prisoner Day (YNetNews.Com -Yedioth Internet) Yoav Zitun Published: 03.30.12, 21:20)
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As Land Day protests die down, IDF spokesman says army is pleased
with handling of riots; Army says 50 were injured in West Bank, Gaza,
but Palestinians report one man killed, 150 hurt
The IDF expressed contentment with its handling of Friday´s Land Day
protests, in which one Palestinian was reported killed and dozens
"Overall, no dramatic incidents took place, and the security forces
in the Palestinian cities did not allow the demonstrations to
spread," IDF Spokesman Brigadier-General Yoav Mordechai said.
The spokesman stressed that the soldiers stuck to the rules of
engagement, which required the troops to verbally warn protesters to
stay away from the border, use various means of crowd dispersal and
fire warning shots before resorting to shooting the protesters in the
legs, should they not heed the previous deterrence methods.
Mordechai noted that the army is already preparing for the next round
of demonstrations, expected in the coming months.
"The challenge will be to deal with the upcoming memorial days,
including Nakba Day, Naksa Day and especially Prisoner Day, which
call for bolstered alertness."
Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah on Friday praised the demonstrators
in a speech during an opening ceremony held at a religious center in
"This is a great day for Palestine and Jerusalem, when our
Palestinian brethren came out to protest within occupied Palestine
and outside it," he said.
According to the IDF, some 50 people were wounded in the rallies in
the West Bank and Gaza, but the Palestinians claimed that 150 were
injured, 100 of whom were hurt by inhaling tear gas in near the
Qalandiya crossing north of Jerusalem.
According to the reports, 1 man was killed and eight were moderately
injured when they approached the border fence near the Erez Crossing
in northern Gaza.
Four others were injured by IDF sniper fire during a protest in the
southern region of the Strip, near Khan Younis, aftering ignoring the
soldiers´ warnings against approaching the border fence. Their
condition remains unclear. Also in southern Gaza, Palestinians
snipers shot at IDF troops, and mortar shells were fired. No injuries
were reported in these incidents.
In Qalandiya, security forces used tear gas against rioters who threw
stones and torched tires. Palestinian Parliament Member Mustafa
Barghouti appeared to have been hit by a rubber bullet fired by the
IDF, and was taken to the hospital. He was evidently also hurt by
rocks hurled at him by Palestinian protesters who opposed his
participation in the rally. Earlier, the IDF denied having injured
Riots broke out in Jerusalem´s Old City as well, prompting the
security forces to arrest dozens.
Some 300 took part in a violent rally in Bethlehem, near Rachel´s
Tomb. Three sustained moderate injuries during the riots. One man was
lightly hurt during the weekly protests against the construction of
the security fence in the West Bank; he was hit in the eye by a gas
In Jordan, not far from the Allenby Crossing, a larger rally took
place, drawing 14,000 people – including protesters who arrived from
Asia to take part in the Pro-Palestinian event. The Jordanian
security forces were able to contain the demonstration; no unusual
incidents were reported.
Some 5,000 people held an anti-Israel rally in southern Lebanon, near
the Beaufort. Some arrived at the demonstration from Lebanon´s
Palestinian refugee camps, while others travelled from as far as
India. Members of the extremist anti-Zionist Jewish sect Neturei
Karta were in attendance as well.
Hundreds of Syrians rallied in Damascus in show of solidarity for the
Palestinians, while the Palestinian community in Egypt staged a
protest in Cairo´s Tahrir Square.
Meanwhile, Iranian Deputy Foreign Minister Hussein Amir Abed Lahyan
toured southern Lebanon near the border with Israel, and promised
that the Islamic Republic will continue to support the Lebanese and
Palestinian resistance "until the entire land is liberated." A
Hezbollah delegation attended the reception held for the Iranian
Israeli Arabs joined in on the Land Day demonstrations; the main
event was held in the village of Deir Hanna in the Galilee, and was
attended by Arab Knesset members. Other rallies were held in Sakhnin,
Arraba, Kafr Kanna, Taibe and Wadi al-Naam. No violent incidents were
reported. Roi Kais contributed to the report (Copyright 2012 ©
Yedioth Internet 03/30/12)
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