Hundreds of Palestinians riot in West Bank, Gaza
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Hundreds of Palestinians riot in West Bank, Gaza

Two Israelis wounded, dozens of demonstrators said hurt as clashes erupt after Hamas calls for a 'day of rage'

Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during clashes with Israeli forces during a protest in the West Bank village of Bait Djan, near the city of Nablus, on May 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)
Palestinian demonstrators run for cover during clashes with Israeli forces during a protest in the West Bank village of Bait Djan, near the city of Nablus, on May 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / JAAFAR ASHTIYEH)

Israeli security forces faced off against Palestinian rioters Friday in multiple locations throughout the West Bank and along the Gaza border, as hundreds took part in the violent demonstrations.

Demonstrators burned tires and hurled rocks at Israeli security forces, who were responding with non-lethal means. On the Gaza border Palestinians claimed live fire was used in some instances as rioters approached the border fence.

An Israeli soldier and a Border Policeman were lightly wounded by rock throwers during a riot near the West Bank village of Aboud, north of Ramallah.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that between 30 and 40 people had been injured throughout the territories, mostly by tear gas and rubber bullets. In Gaza one man was said to be in serious condition and two others reportedly suffered moderate injuries.

Hamas had called for a “day of rage” on Thursday, in an apparent attempt to inflame the Palestinian streets ahead of US President Donald Trump’s visit next week, as well as a show of solidarity with huner-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.

Israeli borderguards and undercover police detain a Palestinian protester during clashes at the entrance of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Musa AL SHAER)
Israeli borderguards and undercover police detain a Palestinian protester during clashes at the entrance of the West Bank city of Bethlehem on May 19, 2017. (AFP PHOTO / Musa AL SHAER)

Earlier Friday a tractor was set ablaze and graffiti reading “revenge” was sprayed on a wall in a suspected hate crime in a Palestinian village in the northern West Bank. The suspected “price tag” hate crime attack occurred in the village of Burin, near Nablus, according to a police report. A star of David and the Hebrew word for “revenge” were sprayed near the destroyed tractor.

Police said they opened an investigation into the incident and were collecting evidence.

Burin is a short distance from the Palestinian town of Hawara, where an Israeli man whose car was attacked by rioters late Thursday opened fire at the crowd, shooting dead a Palestinian man and injuring an Associated Press photojournalist.

A military jeep pulled up seconds after the man’s car came under attack, and the soldiers inside it quickly dispersed the crowd with tear gas and other riot dispersal means. Afterwards, the Israeli driver, a father of eight who lives in the nearby settlement of Itamar, told Channel 2 news that the Palestinians “almost lynched” him. “Thank God I managed to get out of there… I looked death in the eyes,” he said.

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