Dozens of Palestinians marking Land Day gathered at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem Saturday morning and hurled rocks at security forces. IDF and Border Guard forces responded with crowd-dispersing means.
A four-year-old Israeli boy sustained mild injuries when stones were thrown in his direction on Route 60, near the Efrat Intersection in the West Bank. Magen David Adom paramedics evacuated the boy to Jerusalem's Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital.
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In Gaza, dozens of Palestinians held a Land Day procession east of Rafah in the southern part of the Hamas-ruled territory. The protesters claimed IDF forces fired tear gas canisters in their direction from the other side of the border and used live fire. One person was moderately injured from the gunfire, they claimed.
Land Day, which is marked annually on March 30, commemorates the deaths of six Galilee Arabs in 1976 during riots over a government decision to expropriate thousands of dunams of land for "security and settlement purposes."
Land Day rally in Gaza (Photo: AFP)
Near Qalandiya checkpoint (Photo: Benny Doutsh)
For the first time in its history, some 200 people took part in a protest march marking the occasion in Beit Safafa. The demonstrators were also protesting against the paving of Route 4 in the village, which until the Six Day War was divided between Israel and Jordan. Some of the protesters waved Palestinian flags.
In Bethlehem, dozens of Palestinians marched from the Al-Aida refugee camp toward a checkpoint near Rachel's Tomb. Palestinian sources said Israeli security used riot gear to clear them from the area and prevent them from reaching the checkpoint.
Rally in Gaza (Photo: AFP)
Photo: Benny Doutsh
Two IDF soldiers sustained light injuries when stones were thrown at them during clashes with Palestinians near Qalqilya. The two were treated at the scene.
The main Land Day procession was expected to take place later in the day in the northern town of Sakhnin.
Photo: Benny Doutsh
On Friday hundreds of Israeli Arabs, including Knesset Members Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta'al) and Mohammed Barakeh (Hadash), marched in Tayibe ahead of the main Land Day protests.
During the rally, Tibi said that land policies are an ''obstacle in the state's treatment of the Arabs, which is characterized by exclusion, expropriation and a lack of appropriate and modern forward planning."
Noam (Dabul) Dvir contributed to the report
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
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