Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
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following news reports are summaries from original sources. They may
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40 Palestinian Protesters Injured by Israeli
Occupation Soldiers at Qalandiya Crossing Point
May 15, 2011
Clashes at Qalandiya see 40 seriously injured
Published today (updated) 15/05/2011 19:28 RAMALLAH (Ma'an) --
Violent clashes broke out at the Qalandiya checkpoint between
Ramallah and Jerusalem Sunday, as Palestinians marched in the area
demanding the right of return for refugees exiled in 1948.
Marching to the military installment, teenagers hurled stones, and
troops responded with tear gas and rubber bullets in the morning, with
later reports saying live fire was being used.
Estimates put the
number of protesters close to a thousand, and witnesses said young men
were attempting to take down parts of Israel's separation wall at
Qalandiya, where it is built more than five kilometers into Palestinian
A statement from Israel's military said "600
Palestinians are violently rioting" in the area, noting "rocks were
hurled, as were flares, at security forces who have been responding with
riot dispersal means."
Black smoke billowed from tires dragged
toward the checkpoint from the refugee camp, by young men whose faces
were covered, making their way through clouds of tear gas.
Medics said 55 were evacuated from the protest in ambulance, and
witnesses estimated six had been detained. Medics told AFP that at least
one was badly injured, hit in the head with a rubber-coated bullet.
A doctor with the Palestinian Authority's Civil Defense Crews told
Ma'an that 250 had been treated for injuries and tear-gas inhalation,
noting 40 had been marked as seriously injured from bullet wounds.
The air at Qalandiya was thick with tear gas, which permeated
through the adjacent Qalandiya refugee camp, prompting parents to keep
young children indoors.
Treating an 80-year-old woman from the
adjacent refugee camp, medics told Ma'an the tear-gas being used was
different from the regular variety used by the military, and had caused
at least 20 to go into seizures, with about half of those losing
consciousness for at least half an hour.
An Israeli army
spokeswoman said there were "around 200 people who were engaged in
rioting" with border police using riot dispersal means to try and break
up the disturbance.
In Ramallah's city center, Palestinians
demanding the right of return for refugees held banners and waved flags.
One large banner, shaped as a postcard, read:
We are returning.
A Palestinian refugee
A rally near the
tomb of former President Yasser Arafat drew what PLO organizers
estimated as thousands, with head of the PLO office for refugee affairs
telling crowds that the right of return would not be abandoned.
"All of our people must rally around this right; there will be no peace,
security or stability in this region without the return of the refugees
to their homeland, and their property from which they were expelled,"
member of PLO Executive committee Wasel Abu Yousef said.
that September would be a landmark month for Palestinian rights,
referencing a Palestinian Authority effort to gain international
recognition for a Palestinian state.
North of Ramallah,
demonstrators gathered at the northern entrance to Birzeit University
north of Ramallah, setting fire to used tires and throwing stones at
Israeli troops stationed at Atara checkpoint.
fired rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas canisters and stun grenades at
protesters. Several demonstrators fainted after choking on the gas,
Clashes were also reported in the East Jerusalem
district of Issawiya, with youths throwing stones and hurling Molotov
cocktails, police said.
"Stones were thrown at police. Three
people were arrested and one police officer was slightly injured,"
Five detained in Al-Walaja events
were detained from what organizers called a "peaceful nonviolent civil
disobedient march" in the West Bank village of Al-Walaja, where
Palestinians and international supporters gathered for a work day to
help residents of the village farm lands they have been denied access to
as construction of the separation wall continues through private lands.
According to organizers, two foreign nationals and three
Palestinians were among those detained, including prominent civil
society member Mazen Qumsiyeh.
An estimated 150 people had
staged the work day, marching toward the confiscated lands waving black
flags and Palestinian flags, shouting: "Go away, go away! We don't want
to see the Zionists," an AFP correspondent said
deploy en masse in West Bank
Israel Defense Minister Ehud Barak
instructed forces to seal off the West Bank for 24 hours, starting at
Israel's general police commander Yohanan
Danino told Israel Radio that officers would detain rioters.
Israeli police are on high alert, and 10,000 officers and border guards
will be deployed in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
mobilized thousands of police officers who are deployed in sensitive
areas, particularly in Jerusalem and in the Wadi Ara area," spokesman
Micky Rosenfeld said, referring to a northern area near Haifa which has
a large population of Palestinians.
"Our forces have been placed
on high alert in order to allow the planned events to go ahead, but we
will not tolerate any violation of public order," Rosenfeld added.
Overnight, police arrested 13 Palestinians following demonstrations
in occupied East Jerusalem, raising to 63 the total number arrested
since Friday, he said, adding that eight police had been injured.
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