Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

THE INTERVIEW

Erdogan to rid Turkish institutions of ‘separatist cancer’ after coup attempt

Read more

ENCORE!

The best of summer music festivals in France

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Going for gold: French athletes train for Rio Olympics

Read more

#TECH 24

Digital beauty

Read more

FOCUS

Women doctors in Pakistan challenge the status quo

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Trump hopes to reset America's trade relations

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Donald Trump's speech was just another scam'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Cazeneuve at the heart of Nice security controversy

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

South Africa: Prosecutors seek longer sentence for Oscar Pistorius

Read more

Middle east

Palestinians clash with Israeli forces during 'Land Day' protest

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2012-03-30

Palestinian demonstrators clashed with Israeli security forces along the country's borders during the ‘Land Day’ protests Friday. Rallies were held across the region by protesters angry over what they see as discriminatory Israeli land policies.

AP - Israeli security forces in riot gear Friday confronted Palestinian demonstrators after deploying in high numbers along Israel’s frontiers on an annual protest day.

By midday, minor skirmishes had broken out between thousands of protesters and security forces in the Jerusalem area. Palestinians threw rocks and Israeli troops responded with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber pellets. No serious injuries were reported.

In Gaza, Palestinians said Israeli forces shot and wounded two men who approached the border during a demonstration by about 15,000 people, organized by Gaza’s Hamas rulers. The Israeli military said soldiers shot and wounded one protester.

Elsewhere, things were calm. The “Land Day” rallies are an annual event marked by Israeli Arabs and Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza who protest what they say are discriminatory Israeli land policies.

Supporters in neighboring Arab countries also planned marches near the Israeli frontier, but organizers said they would keep protesters away from the borders.

Last year, demonstrators from Lebanon and Syria tried twice to break across the borders into Israel, setting off clashes with Israeli troops in which at least 38 people were killed.

In southern Lebanon Friday, more than 3,000 Lebanese and Palestinians gathered outside the Crusader-built Beaufort castle 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Israel. Lebanese security forces kept them from moving any closer to the border.

Sobhiyeh Mizari, 70, said she always taught her 12 children “never to forget Palestine.”

“We will liberate our land against the will of Israel and its backers,” said Mizari, who said her husband was killed in Israeli shelling of Lebanon in 1978.

Security forces were preparing for demonstrations in northern Israel, where a large portion of Israel’s Arab minority lives.

Several dozen Palestinians who live in east Jerusalem waved their national flag outside Jerusalem’s walled Old City. “One, one homeland!” they chanted.

Palestinians were banned from entering from the West Bank except for medical emergencies, and police barred Palestinian men under 40 from praying at a volatile Jerusalem holy site, citing security concerns.

The demonstrators performed their communal Muslim Friday prayers where they stood, praying on their flags instead of traditional mats.

They were surrounded by what appeared to be an equal number of Israeli security forces.
“Israel has no trouble with peaceful protest and respects the rights of people to demonstrate peacefully,” said government spokesman Mark Regev.

Many Palestinians, energized by Arab Spring uprisings that have overturned decades-old authoritarian regimes, see massive, coordinated marches as one of the most effective strategies to draw attention to their cause.

“After the Arab revolutions, there’s awareness of the importance of popular participation,” said Arab activist Jafar Farah. “This has rattled the Arab regimes, and now it’s frightening the Israeli government.”

 

Date created : 2012-03-30

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israel, Gaza militants agree to ceasefire after clashes

    Read more

  • PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Fresh Israeli air strikes as militant rocket fire continues

    Read more

  • ISRAEL - PALESTINIAN TERRITORIES

    Israeli air strikes in Gaza enter third day

    Read more

COMMENT(S)