Thursday, July 24, 2014

Up to 20,000 Palestinians protest in the Occupied West Bank - Israel opens fire with live ammunition killing 2 people

Dear friends,
incredible scenes on the outskirts of Ramallah tonight, as more than 10,000 Palestinians (with some reports saying up to 20,000 or more) attempt to march to Jerusalem to protest against Israel's assault on Gaza and demand access to Occupied East Jerusalem to pray as Ramadan comes to a close.  This is the biggest rally in the Occupied West Bank in more than a decade, since the beginning of the second intifada.

Israeli Occupation Forces opened fire on the demonstration as it reached Qalandia checkpoint.  According to activists on the ground, Israel open fire with live ammunition and was shooting indiscriminately.  Two people have been confirmed dead, although there has been reports of a possible two other people killed.  Betwen 70- 90 people are reported injured, including at least 21 by live ammunition.

Protests also took place in Occupied East Jerusalem.

I will update Live from Occupied Palestine when more detailed information comes to hand about the demonstrations in both Qalandia and Occupied East Jerusalem.

I have included below video footage shot of the demonstration by news crews, as well as a report by Maan News on the Qalandia march. I have also included a series of tweets and photos posted to social media as the march was taking place.

in solidarity, Kim


Published Maan News: 25/07/2014 


RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were shot dead by Israeli forces late Thursday as over 10,000 marched from a Ramallah-area refugee camp toward Jerusalem in protest against Israel's Gaza offensive, a Ma'an reporter at the scene said.

The slain Palestinians were identified as 19-year-old Mohammad al-Araj and 27-year-old Majd Sufyan, a Ma'an reporter at the scene said.

At least 108 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli fire during the march, at least 60 of them with live bullets.

Earlier, Palestinians marched from al-Amari refugee camp toward Qalandia checkpoint, a militarized crossing point between Ramallah and Jerusalem through Israel's separation wall.

Soldiers shot live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets into the crowd, in addition to tear gas.

Protesters set tires on fire and threw rocks and empty bottles at the checkpoint.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said thousands of Palestinians were "participating in a violent and illegal riot" in the area.

She said Palestinians were "hurling burning tires, Molotov cocktails, rocks, and fireworks" at Israeli soldiers and border police in the area.

The spokeswoman did not immediately confirm or deny reports that a Palestinian had been killed.

Doctors in the main Ramallah hospital said they had received dozens of live fire victims and appealed for blood donors.

The confrontation, and several smaller skirmishes throughout Israeli-annexed east Jerusalem, came on Laylat al-Qadr, or Night of Destiny, when Muslims pray through the night as the holy month of Ramadan nears its end.

Earlier, police had said that due to fears of violent protest over the deadly Israeli military campaign in the Gaza Strip, they would bar men under the age of 50 from Jerusalem's flashpoint Al-Aqsa mosque for what are usually packed prayers on the last Friday of Ramadan.

Large numbers of police deployed throughout the city on Thursday night and the police said in a statement that two officers were injured by stone throwers in the vicinity of the mosque.

Police said that 20 protesters were arrested in various violent disturbances in Palestinian areas of the city.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces have been a near-nightly occurrence in the West Bank since the beginning of Israel's offensive on the Gaza Strip on July 8.

The offensive has left at least 797 Palestinians dead and over 5,000 injured.

AFP contributed to this report.

Correction: An earlier version of this article reported that the name of the second Palestinian to die in the Qalandia clashes was Muhammad Arar. In fact, his name was Majd Sufyan.




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