Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian protester and wounded about 200 others on Thursday after clashes erupted as several thousand people demonstrated in the occupied West Bank against the Israeli offensive in Gaza, Palestinian medics said.
The protest erupted after allies of Palestinian Authority president Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah movement marched from the West Bank city of Ramallah to the edges of Jerusalem to protest against Israel’s offensive against the Hamas militants that rule Gaza.
Tensions continued to run high in the West Bank on Friday, where three Palestinians were killed in unrelated incidents. Witnesses said one man was shot dead by an apparent settler near the city of Nablus, while another was killed shortly afterwards in clashes with the Israeli military. A third person was killed in Beit Ummar, near the flashpoint city of Hebron, medics said.
The Israeli military had no immediate comment on the violence.
Nearly 800 Palestinians have been killed so far in the Gaza operation, most of them civilians.
Israel Radio said the West Bank protest appeared to be the largest since the end of the 2000-2005 Palestinian uprising.
The Israeli military confirmed that its troops had used “riot dispersal” methods against protesters, who threw rocks and firebombs at them and blocked a road with burning tyres.
Hospital officials earlier said three protesters had been killed, but revised that to one killed and three others in critical condition and on life support. Some 200 protesters were injured, a hospital doctor said.
Palestinian factions in the West Bank declared a "Day of Rage" after the Thursday night clashes, which took place around the West Bank and in some sectors of Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem.
Israeli troops have killed two other Palestinians this week in smaller confrontations in the West Bank, territory Israel captured along with Gaza in the 1967 war.
Protests were also reported in Jerusalem, where police confronted Palestinian protesters in and near the old walled city, including outside a flashpoint holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said several officers were injured by rocks thrown at them in Jerusalem and that about 20 protesters were arrested.
(FRANCE 24 with REUTERS and AFP)
Date created : 2014-07-25