Clashes in East Jerusalem ahead of Nakba day

Arrests as Palestinians prepare to mark "day of catastrophe" on anniversary of Israel's 1948 declaration of statehood.

    A masked Palestinian man shoots with a slingshot at Israeli border policemen in Issawiyya [EPA]

    Israeli security forces have clashed with Palestinians in several East Jerusalem neighbourhoods ahead of "Nakba Day" or "day of catastrophe" on Sunday.

    The anniversary marks Israel's 1948 declaration of statehood after which more than 700,000 Palestinians fled or were expelled in the war that ensued.

    A correspondent for the AFP news agency saw four people hurt as police opened fire with rubber bullets at stone-throwing youths in Silwan.

    A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesman said they had treated nine people, including 16-year-old Milad Said Ayyash, who was suffering from serious internal bleeding after being shot in the East Jerusalem neighbourhood.

    A second youth from Silwan was hit in the genitals by rubber bullets, the spokesman said, without giving details about the other injuries.

    Insisting that no live ammunition was used, Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said he knew a teenager had been taken to hospital but with only a light injury and the cause unknown.

    Clashes were also reported in Issawiyya, Al-Tur and Ras al-Amud, all flanking Jerusalem's Old City.

    In the East Jerusalem refugee camp of Shufat, Israeli undercover police arrived at the scene of clashes between Israeli soldiers and Palestinians, and detained several Palestinians.

    An official at Makassed hospital on the Mount of Olives said "nearly 30 people" had been injured in Friday's clashes.

    Denied entry

    On Friday morning, many Muslim worshippers were denied entry to Jerusalem's Old City and the al-Aqsa compound, as Israeli police allowed access only to men over 45 with Israeli identification cards.

    In the West Bank, about 500 people, mostly supporters of the Hamas movement, marched to a square in central Hebron carrying posters marking the Nakba and pictures of keys to homes from which they fled or were forced out in 1948.

    Several dozen youths tried to march on a nearby Israeli army checkpoint but were blocked by Palestinian police, an AFP correspondent said.

    Further north, about 20 Palestinians threw stones at troops in Qalandia near Ramallah, with the army saying it used "riot dispersal means" to disperse them.

    Palestinians want East Jerusalem to be the capital of the state they intend to establish in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip.

    SOURCE: Agencies


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