Gazan killed as Palestinians mark Land Day (AFP) AGENCE FRANCE PRESSE) By Mai Yaghi 03/30/12)
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Israeli gunfire killed a 20-year-old man and wounded another 51
people on Friday, as thousands rallied across the West Bank and Gaza
to mark Land Day, medical sources said.
Demonstrations also took place in annexed east Jerusalem and across
Israel, as well as in Jordan, southern Lebanon and Syria to mark the
annual event that commemorates the deaths of six Israeli Arabs at the
hands of Israeli forces during protests against land confiscation in
Palestinian medical officials said a total of 318 people were injured
in clashes with the Israeli army and police, of whom 51 were wounded
by Israeli fire.
And one man was seriously hurt after being hit in the head by a tear
In Gaza, Mahmud Zakut, 20, was killed in Beit Hanun near the border
fence with Israel, emergency services spokesman Adham Abu Selmiya
said in a statement sent to AFP.
Witnesses said he was among a group of dozens of young men who went
to the northern border in spite of attempts by Hamas police to stop
Abu Selmiya said a total of 37 people had been wounded by gunfire
throughout the afternoon, most of them in the Beit Hanun area,
although at least six were shot and wounded near the border on the
outskirts of Khan Yunis.
In the West Bank, a Red Crescent spokesman said 13 people were
wounded by rubber bullets, while in east Jerusalem, a senior official
of the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas was hit
in the mouth by a rubber bullet.
The Israeli army had no immediate comment on the Gaza shootings,
saying it was only aware of two people injured by live fire, one near
the Erez crossing and another near Khan Yunis.
The United States urged restraint by both its ally Israel and the
"We certainly don´t want to see any violence by either side," State
Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.
Rights group Amnesty International said the news that Israeli forces
used live ammunition against demonstrators was "extremely worrying."
It also expressed concern at reports that Palestinian security forces
tried to prevent demonstrations in the West Bank and Hamas security
forces in Gaza beat protesters.
At Qalandia checkpoint north of Jerusalem, Palestinian youths hurled
rocks and set tyres alight, and troops retaliated with a barrage of
tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades, an AFP correspondent and
the military said.
In east Jerusalem, around 400 demonstrators waving huge Palestinian
flags rallied outside the Old City near Damascus Gate, with another
hundred or so outside Lion´s Gate, prompting scuffles in both places,
AFP correspondents said.
Police were seen beating several demonstrators, and in one case, an
officer in full riot gear snatched a Palestinian flag, threw it on
the ground and stamped on it.
Jerusalem police said they had arrested 34 people.
In Bethlehem, a man was seriously injured after being hit in the head
by a tear gas canister as troops tried to break up a rally of several
hundred people by the main checkpoint, medics and an AFP
In the northern West Bank, around 1,000 people rallied at Kafr Qaddum
while another 500 people gathered in Iraq Burin, with scores of
people suffering from tear gas inhalation.
In Gaza, 37 people were injured by live gunfire after thousands
marched from Jabaliya to Beit Hanun, medics said.
But the army said it was aware of hitting only two people, one of
whom was a man who "lit a tyre and rolled it at the soldiers" near
the Erez crossing, hitting him in the legs.
And military sources confirmed shooting a man in the leg near Khan
Yunis after he set something alight close to the border fence.
In south Lebanon, hundreds of Palestinian refugees gathered near
Beaufort Castle as large numbers of Lebanese troops looked on, with
barbed wire erected to ensure no one approached the flashpoint
frontier, an AFP correspondent said.
In Jordan, more than 15,000 people, joined "a peaceful sit-in" at
Kafrein, some 10 kilometres (six miles) from the Allenby crossing,
security officials said.
And hundreds of pro-regime Syrians staged a Land Day demonstration in
In northern Israel, several thousand people joined the main march to
Deir Hanna, waving Palestinian flags and carrying pictures of the six
people killed in 1976.
And another 700 people rallied in the southern the Negev desert, an
AFP correspondent said.
In anticipation of the protests, the army imposed a 24-hour closure
on the West Bank which was to be lifted at midnight (2100 GMT).
Friday´s demonstrations were a far cry from the bloody confrontations
of May 2011 when troops opened fire on protesters along the Lebanon
border and on the Syrian Golan Heights, killing 11 and wounding
hundreds. (Copyright © 2012 Agence France Presse. 03/30/12)
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