05 June 2011 | Palestine News Network
On Sunday four civilians were killed and 30 injured when Israeli soldiers opened fire at protesters marking Naksa across the West Bank, Gaza, and the Syrian border.
Forty-four years ago, Israel occupied the West Bank, Gaza Strip and the Golan Heights during the six-day war, which later became known to Palestinians as the Naksa, or setback.
At the Syrian border, Israeli soldiers fired live-rounds at protesters marking Naksa when they reached the border fence near Majdal Shams. So far Syrian sources said that four civilians were killed and 30 were injured by Israeli gunfire. The protest continues, sources reported.
On Saturday Israeli forces closed Majdal Shams and did not allow Palestinians form Israeli areas to reach the Sryian town to protest the Naksa. During last month’s Nakba commemoration five civilians were killed and at least 30 more were injured when Israeli troops stationed at the Syrian borders opened fire at protesters form the Syrian border village of Majdal Shams.
In total, Israeli military attacks on Nakba protests on May 15th left 16 killed and 400 injured. Israeli troops attacked Nakba protests in several parts of the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in addition to the Lebanese and Syrian borders.
Also on Sunday Israeli forces invaded the central West Bank city of Ramallah and attacked Naksa protesters as people marched towards Qalandiya checkpoint which separates the city from Jerusalem. Witnesses said that troops invaded the entrance of Ramallah city and fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at unarmed protesters. So far five civilians were reported injured by soldiers’ rubber-coated steel bullets
At the village of al-Walajeh, located between the southern West Bank city of Bethlehem and Jerusalem, international and Israeli protesters joined the villagers and marched marking the 44th anniversary of the Naksa.
The Israeli army has locked-down the village since last night. Today, troops stopped buses transporting supporters into the village. At around 11 a.m. protesters marched, demanding an end to the Israeli occupation.
Al-Walajeh village was among the 500 Palestinian villages that was destroyed in 1948 when Israel was created – what Palestinians call the Nakba. People moved towards Bethlehem and built a new village at what was left from their lands that were occupied by Israel in 1967.
Also in southern West Bank on Sunday, people gathered in Hebron city and marked the 44th anniversary of the 1967 war or what is called by Palestinians as Naksa. Clashes were reported between Israeli troops and settlers in one side and Palestinian youth on the other. No injuries were reported.
A number of Naksa commemoration protests were organized in the Gaza Strip on Sunday. The ralies ended after speeches were delivered by political leaders in Gaza City. Sources said that Palestinian police stopped local youth from reaching the borders with Israel.
Haaretz reported that protesters threw rocks at Israeli police in the East Jerusalem village of Isawiyeh. Thirteen protesters were arrested and one police officer injured during the clashes, which involved an Israeli helicopter team, said the report.
Police were dispersing crowds of protesters with tear gas and other “demonstration dispersal weaponry” at Qalandiyah checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, said the report.
At the Israel-Syria border, where Syrian TV has reported four protesters killed and 30 injured, Haaretz reported that an Israeli Army spokesperson did not confirm any casualties. The spokesperson told Haaretz that Israeli soldiers had fired warning shots and then shot at protesters legs.
Other Israeli Army officials questioned the truth of Syrian reports that protesters had been killed, saying that any shots fired had been fired accurately, “guided by senior officers on the ground,” reported Haaretz.