Tense day in West Bank (Archive)
Photo: Reuters

Violent day in West Bank

Several clashes reported across Judea, Samaria Friday: Some protestors reportedly hurt by IDF forces during violent rallies; US national detained by troops; elsewhere, Israeli female sustains light wounds in stoning attack

A violent Friday across the West Bank saw stone-throwing attacks and clashes involving settlers, Palestinians, leftist protestors, and security forces.


In a demonstration held at east Jerusalem's Sheikh Jarah neighborhood, dozens of leftist and Arab activists gathered in order to protest the government's intention to "Judaize" the neighborhood.


Several protestors were hurt in the clashes and others were detained.


Elsewhere, dozens of settlers from Yitzhar headed to the Palestinian village of Hawara in order to hold a protest march. The demonstrators were upset after settlement resident Shmulik Cohen sustained serious wounds Thursday as his vehicle was stoned.


According to the settlers, Palestinian villagers hurled stones at them, before Border Guard forces arrived at the site and dispersed the stone-throwers using tear gas.


"If defense forces do not provide us with security, nobody should be surprised to see the residents trying to take care of it on their own," one protestor said.


However, the army said that settlers were hurling stones at the soldiers during the protest and that the rally was dispersed without any injuries. Responding to the IDF's claims, a source in Yitzhar slammed the army for smearing the settlers instead of ensuring their safety.


Meanwhile, at least two cases of stone-throwing attacks on Israeli vehicles were reported in Samaria. In one case, an Israeli female sustained light wounds northeast of Ramallah and headed to hospital for treatment. No injuries were reported in another stoning attack, near the Kalandia roadblock south of Nablus. A vehicle was damaged in that incident.


US citizen detained

In another clash, in the village of Nabi Salah northwest of Ramallah, leftist protestors said that two men were hurt by IDF rubber bullets. The wounded protestors were hit in the arm and leg, the leftist activists said. The IDF denied accusations that it used live fire in dispersing the protest, insisting that forces only used rubber-coated bullets and tear gas.


Violent clashes and rallies were held at several other West Bank sites. In one village near Ramallah, about 100 Palestinians hurled stones at IDF forces. A similar incident was reported in a Palestinian village south of Bethlehem. A US citizen who demonstrated at the site along with about 80 Palestinians confronted a Border Guard police officer and was detained.


IDF forces at the site responded to the violence with tear gas and declared the area a closed military zone.


In yet another protest, three photojournalists were injured, according to Palestinian sources. An Italian national at the site was reportedly detained.


Elsewhere, hundreds of leftist activists, Palestinians, and foreigners gathered for the weekly anti-fence protest in the villages of Na'alin and Bil'in. Protestors hurled stones at security forces in both sites. No injuries were reported.


Ronen Medzini and Ali Waked contributed to story


פרסום ראשון: 04.02.10, 19:07
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