A plainclothes Israeli police officer and soldiers detain a Palestinian protester during clashes near the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, Sunday, May 15, 2011
Israeli troops have fired at protesters along Israel’s borders with Lebanon and Syria. At least 10 people have been killed as thousands of Palestinians mobilized to mark the anniversary of the uprooting of Palestinians that resulted from the creation of the state of Israel.
It was supposed to be a series of nonviolent protests, the first coordinated move by Palestinians to try to overwhelm Israeli checkpoints along the West Bank, the Gaza Strip, and along Israel’s boundaries with Syria and Lebanon.
At the Qalandia checkpoint between the West Bank town of Ramallah and Jerusalem, hundreds of Palestinians – mainly young people – clashed with Israeli soldiers. Some demonstrators threw rocks at soldiers who fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
This 16-year-old Palestinian says he was hit by a rubber bullet. He says he came to protest and vent what he feels about the Palestinians’ situation. He says he came to express his belief that the Palestinians will one day take back Jerusalem from the Israelis, including its Muslim holy places.
As he was talking, demonstrators ran when Israeli soldiers moved in to disperse the crowd.
In the north, Israeli soldiers fired on Palestinians who breached a fence separating the Israeli-controlled Golan Heights and Syria. Israel Defense Forces spokesman Captain Barak Raz said soldiers fired when the demonstrators cut through the fence. “We were met with thousands of violent rioters on the Syrian side of the border who at first attempted to and then successfully breached and infiltrated into Israel, making it into the center of the village of Majdal Shams. We are talking about violent rioters who were hurling rocks,” he said.