West Bank Palestinians demonstrated Monday against Israel’s six-day assault on Hamas the Gaza Strip, confronting IDF troops in several locations in a major upsurge in violence.
Israel Radio said that a Palestinian was shot dead when he attacked a soldier in the Hebron hills area. Rushdi Tamimi, 31, was from a politically active family in the village of Nabi Saleh.
Palestinians reported more than 50 people were hurt. Reports indicated that thousands of Palestinians participated in the protests, from Jenin in the north to Hebron in the south, with some describing the events as the biggest such rallies in a decade.
A number of attacks on Israeli settlers were also reported, with 10 Israelis lightly injured, mostly by rock-throwing Palestinians.
A mosque was firebombed in the village of Orrif, near the settlement of Yitzhar, in what was being investigated as a possible right-wing extremist “price tag” attack.
Near Jenin, shots were fired from two cars at an army position. No one was injured.
In Hebron, the IDF shot and wounded a Palestinian after he threw a firebomb at the Hadassah House, one of the Jewish-owned buildings in the city.
Another Palestinian was shot near Halhul, when he assaulted a soldier. In a confrontation that followed, two border policemen were injured by rocks.
Earlier in the day, Palestinians clashed with IDF soldiers and border policemen in Ramallah and the city’s outskirts, as well as in villages around Hebron and Kalkilya, where masses marched in solidarity with Gaza.
The protesters threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the security forces, who responded with stun grenades, tear gas and other non-lethal weapons.
Near Bir Zeit University in Ramallah, prominent members of the various factions of the Palestinian society — including Fatah, Hamas and Islamic Jihad — were joined in a rally by thousands of supporters who called for reconciliation between Fatah and Hamas.
In the morning, dozens of Palestinians cut through the security fence along Route 443 highway, which leads from the center of the country to Jerusalem. Stones were thrown at vehicles on the highway and some of the protesters tried to create a roadblock.
On Sunday night Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas had called on residents of the West Bank to peacefully protest in solidarity with the people living in the Gaza Strip.
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