Thousands march in Gaza solidarity protests in East Jerusalem
Published Saturday 02/08/2014 (updated) 03/08/2014 11:43
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Demonstrations against the ongoing Israeli assault the Gaza Strip continued in East Jerusalem Friday night as thousands of Palestinians marched in solidarity protests that have become a nightly occurrence across the region.
The rallies and protests came after Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinians in solidarity marches Friday afternoon, bringing the total number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since the Israeli assault on Gaza began to 15.
Witnesses said clashes with Israeli forces broke out in the East Jerusalem neighborhoods of Shufat refugee camp, al-Issawiya, Silwan, al-Tur, Al-Suwwana, Abu Dis, al-Eizariya, al-Ram, Qalandia, and Anata.
A young man was struck in the abdomen by a bullet in Abu Dis while many others across East Jerusalem were hit by rubber-coated bullets, including a baby girl sitting in her home.
Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in several areas in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Issawiya.
Member of a local committee Muhammad Abu al-Hummus told Ma'an that a baby girl was hit by a rubber-coated bullet while she sat inside her family home. He said Israeli forces "deliberately" fired gunshots and tear gas canisters toward homes.
A protester was hit by a rubber-coated bullet in the jaw and another in the neck, added Abu al-Hummus.
Israeli soldiers, he said, smashed vehicles parked in front of houses as "acts of revenge."
A spokesman for the Fatah movement in Shufat refugee camp in Jerusalem told Ma'an that clashes broke near an Israeli military checkpoint at the entrance to the camp.
Thaer al-Fasfous added that Israeli forces ambushed a group of young men who were hurling fire bombs at the checkpoint and detained two.
Seven young men were hit by rubber-coated bullets and dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during the protests, added al-Fasfous.
Silwan neighborhood also witnessed clashes with Israeli troops especially in the Ein al-Luza area, Majdi al-Abbasi of the Silwan-based Wadi Hilweh Information Center said.
Al-Abbasi said that Israeli forces broke into home of Sheikh Sabri Abu Diab and detained his son Ahmad, 24.
Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades, tear-gas canisters, and rubber-coated bullets haphazardly at Palestinian homes in the neighborhood.
Al-Tur and al-Suwwana
In al-Tur and al-Suwwana neighborhoods of East Jerusalem, clashes broke out near an illegal Israeli settlement outpost where Israeli forces sprayed a foul-smelling chemical called Skunk at Palestinian homes. The soldiers also blocked a main street in al-Tur.
Locals told Ma'an that soldiers beat 48-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Abu al-Hawa while he walked along al-Shayyah street trying to reach his home.
Al-Eizariya and Abu Dis
Clashes between young Palestinians and Israeli troops were also reported in al-Eizariya and Abu Dis villages.
Local spokesman and activist Hani Halabiya told Ma'an that clashes continued for several hours in the two adjacent towns.
During the clashes in Abu Dis, he said, a young man was hit by a gunshot in his abdomen and more than 30 others were hit by rubber-coated bullets.
Al-Ram and Qalandia
On Friday afternoon, clashes broke in the town of al-Ram and the nearby Qalandia checkpoint. A paramedic said 14 young men were hit by rubber-coated bullets in al-Ram.
He added that a young man was hit by a tear-gas canister in the head while he was standing on the seven-meter high section of the separation wall as it passes through the village. As a result, the young man fell on the ground and broke his hand and sustained scratches and bruises in the head.
In addition, Israeli forces hit a Palestinian paramedic with two tear gas canisters near Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. He was evacuated by an ambulance of the Palestinian Red Crescent to Ramallah Hospital.
In the village of Anata, undercover Israeli forces detained three young Palestinian men during clashes with Israeli troops.
The detainees were identified as 23-year-old Mahmoud Hamdan, 25-year-old Ahmad Ulayyan, and 17-year-old Mahmoud Haykal. Israeli officers attacked the three with rifle butts during detention.
Witnesses said soldiers tried to assault Palestinian cameramen and smash their cameras.
Clashes were also reported in Bab Hatta, Saadiyya, and Qanatir Khdeir neighborhoods in the Old City of Jerusalem.