Tuesday, March 16, 2010


A third intifada in the making?


Israel notorious decisions to just keep on building in East Jerusalem and the occupied territories returned Palestinians to the streets all across West Bank, Gaza, and Jerusalem in anger. There have been dozens of Palestinians arrested and/or injured.

In Gaza, leaders of Hamas suggested that all Palestinians should engage in a third Intifada. Palestinian Legislative Council Deputy Speaker Ahmad Bahar called on the Al-Qassam Brigades, the armed wing of Hamas, to respond to Tuesday's clashes in East Jerusalem over access to holy sites.

"The policies of the Netanyahu government are nothing but ethnic cleansing and they constitute the strongest existing incitement for a third in intifadah" said the Israeli Arab MP in the Knesset, Hanin Zuabi, speaking to 'Haaretz' and confirming the fears expressed by Palestinians in the context of the inauguration of the synagogue of Hourva a few hundred meters from the Al-Aqsa mosque and by the Israeli settlement policies in East Jerusalem. "Anyone building settlements in Jerusalem is digging a grave for peace" echoed another Arab MP in the Knesset.

According to Haaretz nine Israeli security officers were hurt over the course of the day. Eight were wounded by stones thrown at them, and another was shot in his hand after a protester opened fire in his direction.

The following is from the Maan News Agency.

Violence continues across East Jerusalem, West Bank

Jerusalem - Ma'an - An Israeli police officer was shot in the hand north of Jerusalem on Tuesday evening, an official said.

The unidentified officer was taken to a hospital in the French Hill neighborhood, Israeli police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said.

Rosenfeld told Ma'an that police cordoned off the area, in the Ras Al-Amoud district north of Jerusalem, while searching for the suspect.

Over 91 Palestinians were injured, with 60 detained, as discord continued throughout East Jerusalem and the Old City on Tuesday.

Ma'an's Jerusalem correspondent said 40 of the injured sustained rubber bullet wounds, fired by Israeli forces, with seven sustaining injuries to the eye. The reporter added that an international journalist was injured in Eisawiyyah, an East Jerusalem neighborhood.

The main entry to Eisawiyyah was closed off by Israeli border guards with cement blocs, preventing residents from entering or leaving, the reporter added.

Rosenfeld said 14 Israeli officers were injured during confrontations, with four being transferred to hospital for medical treatment. He said disturbances were largely concentrated in Wadi Al-Joz and Eisawwiyah with the Old City remaining "quiet due to a strong police presence" in the area. Extensive security measures have been implemented throughout the Old City for the fifth consecutive day, including an age restriction.

The spokesman confirmed the road block in place in Eisawwiyah, describing the measure as temporary to prevent disturbances from "masked Palestinians."

More than 100 Palestinians were reported injured across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, medics said.

In Abu Dis, an East Jerusalem town, 17 injuries were reported since confrontations and protests began early Tuesday morning. Students threw stones toward Israeli forces in the area, burning tires. Locals said forces responded with rubber-coated bullet fire and tear-gas canisters to disperse demonstrators.

Witnesses said a 17-year-old sustained a gunshot wound to the leg, and was allegedly beat before he was detained. Those injured were reportedly transferred to the Emergency Clinic in Abu Dis to undergo treatment for their injuries.

Clashes erupted between Palestinian protesters and Israeli paramilitary and police forces across the occupied Palestinian territories on Tuesday morning, following a day of tensions over access to religious sites.

Dozens of Palestinians were injured and many were detained in the ongoing confrontations. Two Israeli officers were also reported injured.

The violence was centered in occupied East Jerusalem and its environs, namely the Shufat refugee camp, Eisaweyah, Ras Al-Amoud, and Wadi Al-Jouz area of Silwan, as well as the Old City.

Hundreds of young Palestinians attacked a checkpoint at the entrance of the Shufat camp, north of Jerusalem, throwing stones at Israeli forces stationed nearby, Ma'an's Jerusalem correspondent reported. He said special police forces were called to the scene and fired tear-gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets at the demonstrators. Two young Palestinians were detained, he added.

Israeli forces tightened a blockade on the Old City, particularly the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, continuing a week-long trend. Police were seen preventing women from entering the mosque.

Police were also seen chasing protesters in Wadi Al-Joz while a helicopter hovered above. Young Palestinians lit fireworks in the Old City as Israeli forces moved in. Three were detained there, among them Iyad At-Tawil, 12, as well as his mother and aunt.

In Qalandiya refugee camp, north of the city, hundreds of students clashed with Israeli forces who fired rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades to disperse the demonstrators. A 15-year-old student was detained there, onlookers said. Clashes also erupted at the Qalandiya checkpoint, an Israeli security official said.

Palestinian citizens of Israel were prevented from visiting Jerusalem. Israeli forces stopped a bus arriving from Majd Al-Kroom, alleging that the passengers were en route to the demonstrations. They detained a 39-year-old man accused of striking a police officer.

Israeli forces were filmed preventing journalists from covering the events in Eisaweyah, telling a live Al-Jazeera broadcast that the measures were for the reporters' own protection.

Meanwhile, rallies were held across the Gaza Strip in solidarity with Jerusalem, with clashes reported across the West Bank.


An-Najah University in Nablus suspended classes for one hour at 12pm, ordered by the student senate.

Head of the senate, Makram Daraghma, said students marched throughout the halls of the university in support of Muslim and Christian sites throughout the occupied Palestinian territories.

Meanwhile, in the village of Huwara, south of Nablus, locals told Ma'an a peaceful student march was dispersed by Israeli forces using riot dispersal means, including tear-gas canisters and sound grenades. No injuries were reported.

An Israeli military spokesman said the incident began when Palestinians began throwing rocks at three civilian cars near the illegal Yizthar settlement and described the incident as a riot involving 20 Palestinians. The spokesman confirmed the use of riot dispersal means by Israeli forces.


A number of Hebronites suffered tear-gas inhalation and suffocation when Israeli forces deployed tear-gas canisters in the village of Beit Ummar, northern Hebron. Ma'an's Hebron correspondent said 15 military vehicles entered the village and one Israeli soldier sustained an injury to the ear when a rock was thrown at him, receiving treatment at the site.

The spokesman confirmed that a border guard was injured and said dozens of Palestinians began hurling rocks during a "violent and illegal riot" in the village, adding that riot dispersal means were used by Israel forces.

In Hebron's city center, a number of clashes between Palestinians throwing stones and Israeli forces, again responding with riot dispersal means. Locals said this included sound grenandes and the firing of rubber-coated bullets, reporting no injuries.

Four Palestinians were detained during one of the clashes, and were reportedly beat by Israeli forces, before being taken to an unknown location. The military spokesman said three Palestinians involved in the incident were detained and transferred to the custody of Israeli police, adding that "no unusual events" took place during the detention.

Meanwhile, the Israeli army spokesman confirmed that, over the past two hours, several incidents took place across Hebron's city center, describing them as riots, with Israeli forces responding with riot dispersal means.

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