Nakba Day Draws Only 2,000 Demonstrators in West Bank and Israeli Arab Towns

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A Palestinian protester wears a t-shirt with a political message during a protest in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on May 15, 2018
A Palestinian protester wears a t-shirt with a political message during a protest in Ramallah, in the occupied West Bank, on May 15, 2018Credit: ABBAS MOMANI/AFP

Nearly 2,000 people participated Tuesday in demonstrations in the West Bank and within the Green Line to mark Nakba Day and to protest the mounting death toll of Gazan demonstrators in the Strip.

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The Health Ministry in Ramallah noted that 27 people were injured in the West Bank, and one is in grave condition. However, the Israeli military stated that despite Palestinian reports of live fire used by the army in Hebron, the IDF used rubber-tipped bullets.

Palestinians clash with Israeli security forces after a protest marking Nakba, or "catastrophe", at the Hawara checkpoint south of Nablus on May 15, 2018Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP

Two border police officers were injured during the protest – a policewoman was injured by a rock hurled at her near Rachel’s Tomb and a policeman was injured close to Judea and Samaria Square.

In Israel, some 200 people, among them Joint List MKs, demonstrated at the entrance to the city of Umm al-Fahm.

MK Ayman Odeh, chairman of the Joint List, said, “The Arab population, along with Jewish forces, are fighting the carnage in Gaza. We call for a peace treaty [based on] the ‘67 borders.”

MK Yousef Jabareen said of the demonstrations, “It is our right and duty to express solidarity with our people who the army has been slaughtering for several weeks at the Gazan border.”

A Palestinian kicks a flaming tire towards Israeli security forces during clashes after a protest marking the 70th anniversary in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 15, 2018Credit: MUSA AL SHAER/AFP

Protesters in Umm al-Fahm carried signs reading: “Gaza you are full of strength,” “Gaza is a symbol of pride,” “From Jerusalem to Gaza – let the ground shake,” “Jerusalem – Arab and Palestinian,” “Let Trump fall,” and “The U.S. is the head of the snake.”

At the same time, 200 protesters took to the streets of the Negev Bedouin city of Rahat. Security forces were deployed to the Damascus Gate at the entrance to Jerusalem’s Old City, where they forcefully turned away some 100 demonstrators.

>> What is Nakba Day? A brief history >>

Protests were held during the day all over the West Bank, and according to the security establishment’s assessments, the largest ones took place around the area of the Judea and Samaria Square (which is situated between Beit El and Ramallah), near Rachel’s Tomb and the Civil Administration base.

In total, 1,300 people participated in the West Bank demonstrations, and the army dispersed them all.

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