Friday, October 30, 2020

Protests Continue Across the West Bank and East Jerusalem

By Amy Mac - October 06, 2015
Section: [Main News]
Tags: [protests] [popular resistance] [Mustafa Bargouthi]

Clashes continued throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem as tensions intensified following the funeral of a thirteen year old Palestinian boy in Bethlehem who was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers.

Hundreds attended the funeral of Abdul Rahman Obeidallah who was shot in the chest whilst returning home from school in Aida refugee camp Monday afternoon.


“He was a small kid, he can’t throw stones and even if he did he wouldn’t have hurt anyone, but he still got shot in his heart,” said Majed, a resident of Aida camp whose name has been changed to protect his identity.

Protests broke out in Bethlehem in reaction to Obeidallah’s death, prompting a harsh response from Israeli security forces who fired at the crowd with rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades.

According to Ma’an News, two Palestinians were shot with 0.22 bullets in the head and another was shot in the leg.

In addition, seven Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, medics said, and dozens suffered tear gas inhalation.

Clashes between Palestinian protesters  and Israeli soldiers continued outside Bethlehem, with disturbances in the east Jerusalem neighbourhoods of Jabal Mukkaber and Abu Tor following the demolition of two homes belonging to Palestinians accused of “terrorist” activities last year.


Violent protests also broke out in Nablus, Hebron, Arroub refugee camp and the Israeli settlement Beit El, where dozens of Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and excessive tear gas inhalation.


Hundreds of protesters also marched from the Qalandia refugee camp to the nearby checkpoint at midday today.


Confronted by Israeli forces, Palestinian youths threw rocks and molotov cocktails at soldiers who fired back with tear gas, stun grenades, rubber bullets and live fire.  


The Red Crescent said 25 Palestinians were injured in clashes at Qalandia military checkpoint, including five with live fire and 10 with rubber-coated steel bullets.


According to Ma’an News, a 17-year-old Palestinian was shot in the stomach, reportedly with a 0.22 caliber bullet, and underwent surgery to remove a bullet from near his spine. A Palestinian woman was also critically injured in her neck.


A Palestinian journalist was hit with a rubber bullet to the abdomen.


Dr. Mustafa Barghouti, general secretary of the Palestine National Initiative (PNI), was amongst the crowd at Qalandia.



Commenting on the soldier’s reaction to the crowd, he told The Palestine Monitor, “as you have seen, peaceful demonstrations [have been met] with bullets and with tear gas and with stun bombs. Israel are the ones who are using violence and provoking violence.”


He went on to describe the escalation of demonstrations in the West Bank as reminiscent of the beginning of the First Intifada.


“What you see is the spirit of the first intifada coming back again; the three principles of self reliance, self organisation and a defiance of the occupation,” said Barghouti.


Many have voiced concerns over the possibility of a third intifada, citing the lack of clear leadership and political divisions in Palestine as a cause for concern amidst the escalating violence.


Human rights activist Mohammed Othman believes the protests and subsequent clashes throughout the West Bank and East Jerusalem will lose momentum over the coming days or weeks.


“We don’t feel it’s the beginning of third intifada because there is no unity. Every politician and every leader is throwing responsibility to the other and no one can lead the third intifada. What’s going on in Qalandia, in Beit El, in Nablus, anywhere in the West Bank, it’s just madness... What I say [is], the people just want relief. It’s not an uprising,” Othman concluded.


However, Dr. Barghouti seemed undeterred by the current state of discordance amongst Palestine’s leading factions.  


“The lack of unity should not be an obstacle to the struggle. If the parties are loyal to the Palestinian cause they should overcome their differences and unify. The whole competition between Fatah and Hamas is meaningless because their authority is meaningless under occupation,” he said.


Dr. Barghouti’s words have been echoed by the PLO Executive Committee.


In a statement released today, they announced their commitment to political unity in the face of Israeli occupation:


“The Committee also confirmed taking quick steps towards holding the regular meeting of the Palestine National Council, with the participation of all Palestinian factions and powers including Hamas and Al-Jihad.”


With the Palestinian Red Crescent having declared a state of emergency in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in response to the growing violence, tensions remain high in the region as the numbers of dead and injured continue to rise.



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