Israeli forces arrest protester at Bethlehem rally
Published Friday 06/09/2013 (updated) 08/09/2013 10:09
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces detained a Palestinian protester at a weekly protest south of Bethlehem on Friday.
Protesters marched to the wall near al-Masara village raising Palestinian flags and pictures of Palestinian prisoners. Activist Mohammad Berjia was arrested, said Hassan Brejia, coordinator of the local popular committee against the wall.
An Israeli military spokesman said a man was arrested during a protest of 20 - 30 people in the area. He was behaving violently toward soldiers and was transferred to the custody of Israeli police, the spokesman told Ma'an.
Israeli forces fired riot dispersal means, he added.
The local committee coordinator said Friday's demonstration was in solidarity with Syria and to mark the 12th anniversary of the death of PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa.
Hassan Brejia said the committee was opposed to the "dictatorship" of Syrian President Bashar Assad but rejected foreign plans to attack Syria.
He also criticized Israel's "Nazi" policy of encouraging Israeli settlers to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound. "Israel is unaware that destroying Al-Aqsa Mosque will mean the end of the state of Israel," he said.
Meanwhile hundreds of protesters attended the weekly demonstration in Bilin, near Ramallah, chanting songs for national unity and in support of Palestinian resistance and prisoners.
Activists said Israeli forces used rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and water cannons to disperse protesters.
The Israeli army spokesman said forces used "riot dispersal means" against around 150 protesters in Bilin.
He said a soldier was lightly injured by a rock thrown by a protester.