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'The largest West Bank protest in decades'

Thousands of Palestinians in the West Bank and Jerusalem march in solidarity with Gaza, in the largest such protest in years. At least two were killed. 

Thousands of Palestinians marches from Ramallah to Qalandiya Checkpoint and in East Jerusalem where they clashed with Israeli forces in protest of Israel's attacks on Gaza. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

Thousands of Palestinians marched from Ramallah to the Qalandia checkpoint in East Jerusalem, where they clashed with Israeli forces. (Oren Ziv/Activestills.org)

At least two protesters were killed and more than 100 wounded in clashes with Israeli security forces in the West Bank and East Jerusalem late Thursday night, as thousands of Palestinians marched from Ramallah to the Qalandia checkpoint, which separates Jerusalem and the West Bank.

The protest, against Israel’s assault on the Gaza Strip, was the largest the West Bank has seen in years – according to some Palestinian demonstrators, the largest in decades. As of Thursday night, 805 Palestinians  had been killed in Gaza since Israel launched its offensive on July 8. 

The West Bank march quickly spread to East Jerusalem, where police were said to be clashing with protesters in the Old City, Silwan, and other neighborhoods. Protests were also reported in Nablus and Bethlehem.

 

According to Haaretz reporter Amira Hass, Palestinian ambulances, blaring their horns, were streaming in the opposite direction of the march, evacuating protesters wounded by Israeli fire at the checkpoint.

The West Bank protest came during Laylat al-Qadr, the 27th night of Ramadan and  the holiest night of the year for Muslims. According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel Police Micky Rosenfeld said that hundreds of officers would be stationed around the Old City during Friday prayers, and that no Arabs under 50 would be permitted to enter Damascus Gate.

 

 

Earlier Thursday, Hamas political bureau head Khaled Meshaal said Hamas was prepared to sign a ceasefire agreement with Israel, as long as Israel’s siege of Gaza is lifted. In comments made from Qatar, Meshaal underlined that he also wants Gaza’s border with Egypt to be opened.

“We want an international airport, we want a seaport, we want an opening to the outside world, and not the situation where we are controlled by a few border crossings that turn Gaza into a huge prison, where no one can leave even for medical treatment or to work […] When we get a clearly worded drafting that guarantees these things, and the international community gives its backing to this draft – than the fire can be stopped, even today,” said Meshaal.

While U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry presented a proposal for a ceasefire on Thursday, Israel indicated it could broaden its offensive. The U.N. Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said Thursday that Israel had established a 3-kilometer-wide “no-go” zone along its border with the Gaza Strip, encompassing 44 percent of Gaza’s territory.

Also Thursday, an Israel military spokesman said in a statement that the army was investigating the matter of the deadly strike on the UN-run school in Beit Hanoun, where many Gazans had sought refuge from Israeli shelling on residential areas. Israel maintained that Hamas militants fired at soldiers from the school, but Palestinians say the school was occupied by civilians fleeing the violence.

A Gaza spokesman for UNRWA, the United Nations agency for Palestinian refugees, said they had received no warning before Israeli forces shelled the Beit Hanoun school that was serving as a shelter. The attack killed at least 17 and wounded more than 200 of the displaced civilians who had taken shelter there.

Related:
AP: UN shelter shelled; more than 140,000 displaced

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  • COMMENTS

    1. Craig Vale

      Bibi is fully aware of the shelf life of this current round of butchery and will likely go full throttle in the next week or so to be able to inflict the maximum damage not only to the Gazan infrastructure but to the psyche of its inhabitants as well. Again he will exhibit his ignorance of the will of these people who have been laid siege to for some 50 since the 67′ war.
      What he has missed in his latest calculus is the role of social media that has come of age in recent years. The Hasbaran minions have a much more difficult task trying to control the narrative these days and while they still wield power, it is showing cracks in its once impermeable facade as you tube videos of Israeli’s cheering the bombing onslaught from the comfort of their lawn chairs perched atop the hills overlooking the Gaza while woofing down a falafel and a beer is online for the world to view. The recent beating of the Palestinian American at the hands of jack booted thugs of the IDF is yet another example of how the images of the unfettered brutality of this siege is slipping through the censors grip and being posted to Facebook.
      Today’s bombing of the UN facility will bring untold recriminations and skepticism too as within 2 hours of the slaughter we got to see the Israeli ambassador come to the camera and claim it was Hamas rockets that hit the UN compound. I swear I saw the guy wink his eye as even he knows that is BS.
      The clamor for Israel to stop its murderous rampage has now moved into the West bank and is spreading throughout the whole of Europe. It may be a slow process as I type but the protests and the calls for boycotting this brutal regime are inexorably growing and soon will engulf the propagandists who for the past hundred years have portrayed Israel and the diaspora as the victim and never the victimizer. This time will be much different as even voices within Israel proper are being raised and its citizens reevaluate Bibi’s policy of Lebensraum and whether or not it’s a price they are willing to pay.

      Reply to Comment
      • Kolumn8

        I read this comment 12 years ago and it still bores me.

        Reply to Comment
    2. Khaled Khalid

      I wonder if Bibi is feeling stupid yet for starting all this killings and riots based on a Lie…He still hasn’t provided proof as promised that “Hamas was behind the kidnappings of the 3 Israeli Settler Teens.”

      Reply to Comment
      • Craig Vale

        Khaled, he has no proof! Otherwise he’d be breaking his neck to get in front of a news crew to share the info. This current trip into Gaza was in his plans months ago and the ” kidnapping” provided the pretext for the new round of violence. Odd too, that there was no mention at all from any Israeli official that since Jan.1st of this year, 60 Palestinians were killed by either settlers of the IDF and hundreds of arrests without charges being files or the provision afforded these people for legal representation. Some ” democracy” eh ?
        Keep up the good fight Khaled !

        Reply to Comment
    3. Khaled Khalid

      The marches have started and the Palestinians have finally snapped not taking any more Israeli brutality.

      Just watch those same Zionists who were so arrogant and obnoxious will now be frightened. It’s easy to be brave when you have a gun in your hand. And Washington’s been usless with it’s tired dishonest “Peace Broker” routine.

      Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        And it’s easy to drool over the prospect of more violence from your armchair on the other side of the world.

        Reply to Comment
        • Craig Vale

          Not all of us drool. We want the wholesale slaughter of Palestinians to stop, the provocation of Hamas to respond with violence to stop too. There were 60 Palestinians since January of this year by either the IDF or Israeli “settlers: It would be nice to see that stop too!

          Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Craig, the violence from both sides sickens me. the war mongering from the leaders of both sides sickens me. the extremists on both sides sicken me.

            Reply to Comment
          • Craig Vale

            Gilgamesh, there is a long and miserable history to this mess beginning with Thedor Herzl , the founding father of Zionism of which I understand and to some degree support. His dream was hijacked soon after his early demise at the age of 44 and the Militant Nationalist diaspora returned to Palestine determined to rid the area of all Palestinians. This wasn’t Herzl’s plan .
            So while we hear cries that the missile fire has to stop as if that were the only issue in the conflict, I ask those who make such demands to read some of the history to learn the context in which those missiles fly into Israel. The decades of land grabs and illegal settlements , The ignoring of UN Res 242. The international demand that Israel return to the 1967 borders. Lifting the siege of the Gaza that has turned the area into a modern day Warsaw Ghetto. Israel treats these folks like animals and then laments when they act as such.
            I appreciate your thoughtful reply as I like you, want to see a resolution to this carnage. It won’t happen with the likes of Bibi at the helm alongside of Avi Lieberman who lusts for Palestinian blood and the expulsion of the very last Palestinian from their land.

            Reply to Comment
          • GilGamesh

            Craig you seem to be well versed on one side of the history. I see no mention of the Hebron massacres. Nor to I see anything about the Khartoum declaration after the ’67 war. Nothing about the guerilla attacks by the PLO before ’67. Nothing about Haj Amin al-Husseini. And nothing about the fact that Jews had always live in that part of the world and just as entitled to a homeland when the Ottoman empire was being split up and more entitled that the Hashemites who received 80% of the Palestinian mandate and had never lived there at all. I agree Bibi and the right wing extremists are a major obstacle to peace but so are Hamas and their enablers on the so called left.

            Reply to Comment
    4. Khaled Khalid

      GilGames
      Did you say “drool?”

      I’ve watched for years Israel get away with mass murder then lecture Palestinians on how superior Israel is, and how Israel has no intention of keeping its word in any peace agreement, the endless lies, the Repetition of those same lies and global propaganda….all thanks to Washington’s political, diplomatic and financial backing.

      Reply to Comment
      • GilGamesh

        Yes, I said drool. Thanks for telling me why you think it’s okay to drool, but there is not one reason you gave which can’t be said about the other side. Palestinians have committed mass murder against Jews. They use the rhetoric of superiority. They have broken agreements. They have used propaganda. And while Washington has given Israel far more support they still manage to give the Palestinians a ton of money as well. Why any of those things you listed is an excuse for you wanting to see more violence is beyond me.

        Reply to Comment
    5. Craig Vale

      What is confounding in all of this back and forth in the press re: Israel’s right to defend itself is that the rocket fire is never mentioned in the broader historical context. The 60 deaths of Palestinians by the IDF and settlers since Jan. of this year. The 7 year siege of the Gaza where even toilet paper is regulated by outside forces. Israel replicating the conditions of the Warsaw Ghetto of decades ago knowing full well the consequences that action has on a cornered population. To hear the news one would think these rockets have no historical context at all.
      It is the quintessential David vs Goliath and one would thing that Israel would be acutely familiar with the outcome of that story. Israel continues with impunity to not only kill but to target civilians in the Gaza. Bibi applies maximum force as the shelf life of this massacre is short and Bibi knows he will have to succumb to public outrage at some point.

      Reply to Comment
      • Eliza

        But the David and Goliath story was just that – a story. We all know that in real life David does not win.

        Still its a useful story if you can frame yourself as the ‘David’ and even better when you know that you really are the ‘Goliath’.

        Israel does this well – it is ‘David’ within the context of the broad Arab world and ‘Goliath’ to the smaller world of the Palestinians.

        The people of the Warsaw Ghetto did not (and could not) win. All they could do was decide not to submissively lie down and die but to fight and die nonetheless.

        I can only see that Israel’s main political objective is break the emerging unity between Fatah and Hamas. Palestinian solidarity is dangerous to Israel. But the treatment handed out to the people of Gaza is what is eventually in store for the non-Jews of the W/B once they are all in their little bantustans; a life of humble servitude is the best that Zionism is capable of offering the non-Jew.

        I hope the Palestinian people hold on to their solidarity – and that people around the world force their governments to start to hold Israel accountable for its treatment of Palestinians.

        Forget Netanyahu – Israeli behaviour towards non-Jews does not alter much regardless of who forms Government.

        Reply to Comment

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