At least ten protesters were injured across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, on Friday, as dozens engaged in demonstrations marking the 47th anniversary of the Naksa, when the West Bank, Gaza Strip, Golan Heights and the Sinai peninsula were illegally taken by Israel in 1967.
According to Ma’an News Agency, six Palestinians were injured and dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces opened fire on protestors in al-Arrub refugee camp north of Hebron.
In the central West Bank village of Bilin, two protesters were shot with rubber-coated steel bullets and a photographer was assaulted by Israeli forces as they dispersed a rally, there.
Meanwhile, south of Hebron, protests were also violently dispersed in al-Fawwar refugee camp on Friday, as well. Dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation in clashes in the camp.
In Jerusualem, dozens joined in demonstration at Damascus Gate in the Old City.
Sheikh Jamil Hamami of the Supreme Islamic Council, who organized the protest, told Ma’an that ‘Jerusalemites at this demonstration they are expressing loudly their refusal of Israeli occupation,’ and, to participants of the protest: ‘Send salutations to the prisoners of freedom and we support them…’
The Grand Mufti of Jerusalem said that ‘Israel is trying to Judaize the humans and stones of Jerusalem and hide the city’s Arab and Islamic features, but Jerusalem will remain the heart and the eternal capital of Palestine.’
East Jerusalem was first occupied in 1967, by Israel, and annexed in 1981, in a move which is still not recognized by the international community. However, it has been reported that the Australian government has announced, recently, that it is to stop referring to East Jerusalem as occupied territory.
Dr. Hanan Ashrawi expressed her outrage at the news: ‘Trying to fabricate or distort the law to fit Israel’s lawless behavior is shameful and dangerous. Attorney-General Brandis, whether out of ignorance or whether out of blind bias, is trying to render Australia complicit in the Israeli occupation, and is forcing it to become an advocate of international criminal behavior.’
Ma’an further reports that Palestinian officials frequently condemn what they refer to as the ‘Judaization of Jerusalem’, on the part of Israeli authorities, who they say engage in discriminating policies against Palestinian residents as they seek to encourage their departure from the city.
Such policies include the denial of construction and residency permits to Palestinian residents, while the construction of thousands of settlement homes is completely acceptable for Jews, in order that they might shift the demographic balance through such discimination.
A statement recently released by Israeli human rights organization B’Tselem has revealed that 60-80,000 Palestinian Jerusalem residents have been without running water for 3 months.
In related news, hundreds of Palestinians on Thursday night held a vigil at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in western Gaza City.
The vigil was organized in solidarity with the hundreds of prisoners who are now on hunger strike against Israel’s administrative detention policies, in which people are held indefinitely, without charge or trial.
The prisoners have been on strike for more than 40 days, along with hundreds more who have since joined.