One killed as Palestinians, Arabs mark "Land Day"
A Palestinian was killed and over 50 were injured Friday in clashes with Israeli forces during protests of thousands of people in Gaza, West Bank and East Jerusalem on the occasion of "Land Day".
Mahmoud Zaqout, 20, was killed by Israeli fire near Beit Hanoun in northern Gaza Strip, not far from the border with Israel, said in a statement Adham Abu Selmiya, spokesman for the emergencies services in the Palestinian territory ruled by the Hamas.
The Israeli military said soldiers had opened fire after warning shots at a group of Palestinians who were approaching I a "dangerous manner" the Erez border terminal.
In addition, "37 other Palestinians were wounded in the east of Beit Hanoun and Khan Younis," in southern territory in the border area, Abu Selmiya said.
In the West Bank under military closure for 24 hours, clashes between stone-throwing youths and Israeli soldiers shooting rubber bullets and stun grenades erupted earlier Friday afternoon at Qalandia checkpoint, which controls access to Jerusalem.
A thousand people marched towards the site, with Palestinian flags and flags of Palestinian movements. Sources conveyed that at Qalandia 194 people were treated, mostly after inhaling tear gas or chemical liquids sprayed by the Israeli military. Seven were hospitalized for injuries by rubber bullets.
In East Jerusalem, 19 Palestinians were hospitalized for injuries, including the local head of the Fatah movement, Omar Chalabi, who was hit by rubber bullet.
In Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, 11 people were hospitalized, including a 20 year old man in serious condition after suffering a gas canister in the head, sources said.
Near Nablus, a thousand Palestinians marched in Kafr Qaddoum in area declared a closed military zone by the Israeli army. 500 others protested in Burin, which is close to the Jewish settlement of Bracha. The clashes left four injured by rubber bullets and one in Kafr Qaddoum.
In Jordan, a sit-in was attended by over 15,000 people, including members of the Islamist opposition and trade unionists, in Kafreïn, near the Dead Sea, about 1.5 km from the border. Waving Palestinian and Jordanian flags protesters waved placards proclaiming "Freedom for Jerusalem and freedom for Palestine" and chanted slogans against the peace treaty of 1994 between Jordan and Israel.
Thousands of Israeli Arabs have also marched in Deir Hanna in northern Israel, waving Palestinian flags and images of six killed in this community in 1976. The "Land Day" commemorates their death during protests against the confiscation of land by the Israeli authorities.
In southern Lebanon near the Israeli border, hundreds of Lebanese and Palestinian refugees protested under tough security measures.
In Damascus, hundreds of Syrians chanted: "We will return to Palestine, we promise to all people and all Arab martyrs that we will come to Jerusalem," and slogans in support of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.