Israeli-Palestinian Tensions Rise in Jerusalem, West Bank as Nakba Day Nears

Israel security officials on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events, arresting 11 protesters; Palestinian youth shot, others wounded from tear gas, rubber bullets in East Jerusalem.

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Israel Defense Force soldiers and Palestinians clashed on Friday throughout the West Bank, days before planned demonstrations to commemorate the Nakba.

Mild clashes between the IDF and Palestinians erupted in Jerusalem on Friday morning, in Silwan, Isawiya and in the Old City. Israel police forces have arrested 11 protesters.

Palestinian youths throw stones at Israeli military vehicle in the Silwan neighborhood of East Jerusalem, in May 2010.Credit: Archive

However, Palestinian officials have reported one wounded from live fire in Ras al-Amud, an East Jerusalem neighborhood and several others have been reported wounded by rubber bullets and tear gas, mainly in Silwan.

Israel security officials in Silwan have reportedly fired shots in the air to stop stone-throwing. Police reported that a 34-year-old masked man was arrested for carrying a Molotov cocktail, and that three Palestinians were lightly wounded by projectile fire from security forces in Silwan.Prayers on the Temple Mount in which 8,000 worshippers were in attendance, took place without a hitch, despite predictions of possible unrest.

Palestinians began throwing rocks in several West Bank towns as well on Friday, including Bil'in, where weekly demonstrations have been held for the past five years to protest the separation wall as well as near Efrat, a large Jewish settlement.

IDF soldiers fired tear gas to disperse the stone-throwers.

In Hebron, PA soldiers stopped Hamas members planning to march throughout the city's Jewish quarter, also on Friday.

Israeli Police reported that three officers were wounded over the course of the day's operations. One of these officers was taken for treatment for light wounds while the other two were treated on the spot.

Israeli left-wing activists report that two protesters were wounded from projectiles fired by IDF forces in Nabi Saleh, a Palestinian and an Israeli, Ben Ronen, whose arm was broken.

The activists also said that an American suffered a serious head wounded from a tear gas projectile, and that over a dozen other protesters received medical treatment after being beaten with billy clubs and maced in the face by IDF forces.

Israel security officials are on heightened alert in preparation for Nakba Day events this Sunday, when Palestinians mourn the 'catastrophe' in which their ancestors were expelled in the 1948 Israeli War of Independence.

The IDF has increased its presence in multiple potential points of contention in a preemptive attempt to prevent Palestinians from breaking into settlements and IDF army bases.

Palestinians in Lebanon plan to march and bus in from several locations in Lebanon toward the border with Israel on Sunday. Tens of thousands of Palestinian refugees will converge in Maroun al-Ras, a village in southern Lebanon that was a major point of fighting between the IDF and Hezbollah during the 2006 Lebanon War.

A parallel demonstration will also be taking place on the Israel side of the Lebanon border in Avivim, a source told Haaretz, where demonstrations will be staged concurrently with the rally planned in Maroun al-Ras.



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