Monday, 18 May 2015

Clashes as Israel marks 1967 East Jerusalem capture

JERUSALEM (AFP) -- Israeli nationalists and police clashed with Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem on Sunday as crowds of Jewish hardliners marched across the city to mark the 48th anniversary of its capture.

Known as Jerusalem Day, the anniversary marks the seizure in the 1967 Six-Day War and later annexation of East Jerusalem in a move never recognized by the international community.

Police said two officers were wounded by Palestinian stone-throwers and at least five Palestinians were arrested near the walled Old City's Damascus Gate. A Palestinian prisoner's society identified Amir al-Bashiti, Amir al-Karaki, Sharif al-Rajabi, Ubada Najib and Muhammad Abu Sneina as those arrested. The demonstrators were dispersed by baton-wielding police, some on horseback.

A police statement said that in one incident "several dozen Muslims scuffled with a group of Jews".

The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma'an that 29 Palestinians were injured and received medical attention, with seven taken to hospital. Two of those hospitalized were hit with rubber-coated bullets in the eye and one was attacked with rifle butts.

Witnesses also saw journalists shoved by police.

Police would not say how many jubilant Zionists descended on the Old City's Muslim Quarter on their way to pray at the Western Wall Jewish holy site, only that "large crowds" were expected.

"They are coming here with the support of an extremist government that paid for their buses," a Palestinian woman, Muna Barbar, told AFP outside Damascus Gate. Palestinian residents of the Old City were forced to closed their stories and homes in preparation for the march, as the streets were crowded with right-wing Israelis performing flag dances and chanting in the streets.

"This rally marks a new occupation of Jerusalem every year. It is a painful and tough day for us with Israeli flags waved across the city which is turned into a military barracks and we the indigenous residents feel like aliens," Abu Rami, who lives in the Old City, told Ma'an.

Israeli leaders have repeatedly vowed that the city will never again be split, calling it their "eternal, indivisible" capital.

"Jerusalem has always been the capital of the Jewish people alone and not of any other people," Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said at an official Jerusalem Day ceremony.

"A divided Jerusalem is a past memory: the future belongs to a complete Jerusalem which will not be divided again." more


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