Hundreds of Palestinians Clash With IDF in West Bank Naksa Day Protest

IDF soldiers fire tear gas at stone-throwing protesters in Druze village of Majdal Shams, where demonstrations were held marking 44 years since onset of Six-Day War.

Haaretz Service
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Haaretz Service

Hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israel Defense Forces soldiers near a key West Bank checkpoint on Sunday, in rallies marking Naksa Day, the defeat of Arab armies by the hand of Israel in the Six-Day War in 1967.

IDF soldiers fired tear gas at protesters in the northern Israel Druze village of Majdal Shams, where demonstrations were being held to mark Naksa Day.

Israeli soldiers firing tear gas at Palestinian protesters near the Qalandiyah checkpoint, May 15, 2011. Credit: AP

The tear gas came as a result of protesters throwing stones at the soldiers. Many protesters were reportedly injured in Majdal Shams as a result of the tear gas.

Near the West Bank city of Qalandiyah, between Jerusalem and Ramallah, IDF soldiers were confronted with hundreds of Palestinian protesters, firing tear gas and demonstration dispersal weaponry.

Channel 2 reported later Sunday that over 50 people were wounded in clashes with the Israeli military.

Elsewhere in the West Bank, Palestinians were reportedly demonstrating in the Baka al-Sharkiyeh across the border from the Israeli Arab town of Baka al-Garbiyeh.

Last month, thousands of Palestinians took to the streets across the West Bank to mark Nakba Day, waving flags and holding old keys to symbolize their dreams of reclaiming property they lost when Israel was created on May 15, 1948.

In a West Bank refugee camp and on the outskirts of Jerusalem, IDF troops fired tear gas to break up large crowds of stone throwers.

Demonstrators gathered at a gas station near the village of Isawiyah in East Jerusalem early Sunday, hurling rocks at the security forces. One police officer was injured and at least 13 protesters were arrested during those clashes, some of them with the aid of a helicopter team.

Palestinians demonstrating near Mount Scopus in Jerusalem hurled firebombs at the back of the Hadassah University Hospital. No one was wounded in the incident and there were no reports of damage.

In Qalandiyah several hundred protesters began marching toward a local checkpoint. Police attempted to disperse those protesters by firing tear gas canisters. 20 protesters were lightly hurt.

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