Protests, clashes in Jerusalem and West Bank as Israel-Gaza war rages | Israel-Palestine conflict News


Israeli security forces restricted young Palestinians from entering the Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem for prayers on Friday and deployed in strength across the Old City and beyond to quell any unrest spilling over from the conflict in Gaza.

In the occupied West Bank, Israeli troops killed four Palestinians during raids, the official Palestinian news agency WAFA said. Two of the dead were identified by fighter groups as their members.

Large numbers of Israeli police kept guard around Al-Aqsa, a flashpoint and often the scene of clashes, as Palestinians gathered for Friday prayers, reports said. At one point, the police fired tear gas at the Palestinians, according to Reuters.

In the West Bank, the Israeli military said that during arrest operations, its troops came under attack in the city of Jenin and fired back, killing two men.

The Islamic Jihad group confirmed one of the men belonged to the group, and Hamas said one of its fighters was killed in the Jenin fighting.

WAFA said another two Palestinians were killed, one in Jenin and one in the town of Qalqilya, saying their deaths took the number of Palestinians killed in the West Bank since the Hamas-Israel conflict broke out to 110.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces destroyed a memorial in Jenin for the slain Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh and razed the street where she was fatally shot by an Israeli soldier.

The military said that in Qalqilya, troops came under fire while shutting down a shop whose owner was accused of incitement of violence. They returned fire, hitting at least one person, a military statement said.

A view of the destroyed Shireen Abu Akleh street, following an Israeli raid, in Jenin Camp, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank
A view of the destroyed Shireen Abu Akleh Street following an Israeli raid in the Jenin Camp [Raneen Sawafta/Reuters]

‘350 people protesting and chanting for Gaza’

Protests in solidarity with the people of Gaza also took place in Hebron in the West Bank. The protest began at the Ibn Rushd roundabout in the centre of town, with demonstrators denouncing Israeli actions and expressing support for Palestinian resistance.

One protester, who spoke to Al Jazeera on condition of anonymity, said the Israeli army suppressed the demonstration using drones.

“There were about 350 people there protesting and chanting for Gaza,” the protester said. “The occupation forces first sent out a surveillance drone that took pictures of the people who were there. About half an hour later, a larger drone came around and dropped gas bombs on the people protesting,” the person added.

Political forces called for a strike and mourning tomorrow in the Hebron Governorate and its cities on Saturday.

In Nablus, video footage being circulated by the Jenin News outlet, and verified by Sanad, shows a group of demonstrators being dispersed by what is said to be Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces. Sanad is Al Jazeera’s fact-checking and verification unit.

As the protesters ran from clouds of what looked like tear gas, they could be heard chanting “Spies! Spies!” in reference to the PA’s forces.

In Ramallah, social media videos, corroborated by Sanad, showed a massive demonstration in solidarity with the residents of Gaza, predominantly led by young men. This protest followed the Israeli army spokesman’s announcement of a ground incursion into the Gaza Strip.

People hold Fatah flags during a protest in support of the people of Gaza
People hold Fatah flags during a protest in support of the people of Gaza in Hebron [Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

In the capital of neighbouring Jordan, thousands of people took to the streets to denounce Israel and voice support for the Palestinians. Many waved the green, red, white and black Palestinian flag.

“We are with Palestinians and with Gazans. We also came to stress that we are standing behind the resistance until the end,” said participant Mahmoud Aqalan.

Another protester, Hassan Sultan, said: “It is our brothers who are being killed in Gaza. This is the least we could do – to make our position known to the world.”

Jordanians gather during a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza, amid the ongoing conflict between Israel and Hamas
Jordanians gather during a protest in support of Palestinians in Gaza [Alaa Al Sukhni/Reuters]


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