Nakba Day marked with rioting, rock throwing and rally

jerusalem   |   Some Palestin-ians marked Nakba Day with riots and rock throwing, while a rally in Ramallah drew thousands and later turned violent.

Palestinians rioted and threw rocks at Israeli troops May 15 near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron, at the Kalandiya checkpoint and at Rachel’s Tomb near Bethlehem. Several Palestinian rioters were arrested.

An Israeli soldier and a border patrol officer were injured during a rock-throwing incident at a checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

A Palestinian prepares to hurl a stone at Israeli troops, not seen, during clashes near the West Bank city of Ramallah on May 15. photo/ap-bernat armangue

Ynetnews reported that two Palestinians were arrested at the Tapuach Junction for carrying a suspicious bag. Border guards found four pipe bombs, a gun and ammunition in the bag.

In Ramallah’s central Clock Square, thousands of Palestinians rallied at noon as a siren sounded to commemorate the nakba, or catastrophe, referring to Israel’s foundation in 1948 as a state. A similar rally was scheduled for Gaza.

Some 200 waved Palestinians flags outside the Old City’s Damascus Gate.

The Palestinian news service Ma’an reported that more than 60 Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces following a march from the Ramallah rally to the Ofer detention center, and another 20 at Kalandiya. Israeli forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.

That same morning, a rocket fired from Gaza struck southern Israel but did not cause injuries or damage.

The Palestinian Authority reportedly declared a general strike, and the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee declared a strike in Israel’s Arab sector to mark the day.

Nakba Day marches also were scheduled to be held in Jordan and in Tahrir Square in Cairo. Commemorations of Nakba Day in Lebanon were limited to the refugee camps, according to Lebanon’s Daily Star. The orders came a year after more than 100 protesters stormed Lebanon’s border with Israel, leading to the deaths of at least 10 protesters.

Israel’s military brought more troops to the country’s borders with Syria, Lebanon, Egypt and Gaza in an attempt to prevent breaches by protesters like those that occurred last year. — jta