Hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces Friday in several areas in the West Bank.
The forces were pelted with stones in Bilin, where protestors marked eight years of struggle against the separation fence crossing through the village. Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad addressed the crowd and was later evacuated from the area by his security forces due to tear gas fired at the stone throwers several meters away.
The procession in Bilin, located west of Ramallah, was attended by senior Palestinian officials, including Minister of Prisoners' Affairs Ziad Abu Ein, Chairman of the Palestinian Prisoners Club Kadoura Fares, the Ramallah governor and Palestinian parliament members.
Palestinians in Bilin, Friday (Photo: EPA)
Palestinian PM Fayyad in Bilin (Photo: Roee Idan)
(Photo: Roee Idan)
Some 200 people participated in the procession, which was held in solidarity with the four Palestinian prisoners jailed in Israel
who have launched a hunger strike.
Two of the prisoners have suspended the strike until the discussion on their matter scheduled for Wednesday.
During the march, several youngsters began hurling stones at IDF soldiers standing on the other side of the fence, with the Palestinian officials just several hundred meters behind them. The security forces responded with crowd dispersal means.
The tear gas smoke was carried by the wind to the area where the Palestinian officials were standing, leading to coughing and teary eyes. At a certain stage, Fayyad's bodyguards decided to remove him from the area due to the smoke.
Earlier, the Palestinian prime minister addressed the protestors and lauded their popular struggle.
Meanwhile, Israeli vehicles were pelted with stones on Route 446, which crosses under the villages of Bilin and Naalin, and traffic in the area was stopped for a short while.
There were somewhat fewer clashes in the West Bank compared to last weekend's wave of violence,
but Friday's events did include throwing of stones, Molotov cocktails and burning tires at IDF soldiers and Border Guard officers, who responded with crowd dispersal means.
In the city of Hebron, where violent clashes erupt almost on a daily basis, dozens of Palestinians gathered at the Clock Square and threw stones. As a result, security forces stopped traffic to the Tel Rumeida neighborhood for several minutes and dispersed the crowd.
Nearly 100 Palestinians gathered near the Beit Hadassah neighborhood as well, throwing stones at Jewish homes and smashing several windows. In Bitunia, near the Ofer Prison, dozens of Palestinians clashed with security forces.
Clashes took place in the Samaria area as well. Several Palestinians threw stones at the village of Hawara. In the nearby village of Khalil, dozens of protestors set tires on fire and hurled stones and Molotov cocktails. The rioters were pushed back into their village.
Dozens of Palestinians participated in a violent protest in the village of Kadum, and stones were thrown at Israeli vehicles in the area of Efrat, Ariel and South Mount Hebron. There were no reports of injuries in all incidents.
Itamar Fleishman contributed to this report
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org