Ramallah and Beit El, occupied West Bank – Israeli forces wounded dozens of Palestinians in the occupied West Bank during protests to mark the Nakba, when nearly 800,000 Palestinians were forcibly evicted from their homes to lead to the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 .
Protesters commemorating Nakba’s 73rd birthday, or the day of the “Catastrophe,” on Saturday in the West Bank also chanted slogans against Israelis aerial bombardment in progress in Gaza, the threat of forced expulsion of Palestinians from their homes in East Jerusalem to make way for Jewish settlers, and repeated Israeli incursions into the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Islam’s third holiest site.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli forces wounded at least 29 Palestinians on Saturday, with 17 of them shot dead.
However, the level of violence was lower than on Friday, when at least 11 Palestinians died and more than 500 wounded in Israeli-occupied West Bank.
In Ramallah, the sirens of Nakba sounded at noon on Saturday and hundreds of Palestinians gathered waving Palestinian flags and black flags adorned with nails, which represented their dispossession and their right of return.
Protesters clashed with Israeli forces in Hebron, Ramallah and the northern cities of Nablus and Qalqilya.
A gloomy mood prevailed as crowds of Palestinians of all ages, political convictions and backgrounds began marching towards an Israeli military checkpoint near the illegal settlement of Beit El, 3.5 km away ( 2 miles) from the center of Ramallah, singing, “With our blood and our soul we will redeem you Al-Aqsa.”
Unlike previous years, Palestinian police did not attempt to stop the march at various points along the route.
Over the next few hours, some Palestinian protesters lit tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded sporadically with stun grenades and savages from tear gas canisters.
Several ambulances transported the injured protesters to the hospital.
Muhammad Shuabaki, a Ramallah engineer, said he had joined the march in solidarity with Palestinians in Gaza and those facing forced expulsion in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood east of Jerusalem.
“We do not want war, but we must fight for our rights and we cannot remain silent about the fact that our people are being expelled from Sheikh Jarrah and the people killed in Gaza,” Shuabaki told Al Jazeera.
On Saturday, there were major protests in support of Palestinians throughout the Middle East, several European countries and Australia.
Israel has fired hundreds of missiles and artillery shells into the besieged Gaza Strip since Monday, while Hamas and other Palestinian groups have fired nearly 2,000 rockets at Israel from Gaza.
At least 140 Palestinians, including 39 children, have been killed in the Gaza Strip since Monday and about 950 more have been injured. In the occupied West Bank, Israeli forces have killed at least 13 Palestinians.
At least nine people in Israel have also been killed by the Palestinian rocket from Gaza, and a new death was reported on Saturday in Ramat Gan.
Israeli military attacks on Gaza continued on Saturday with ten Palestinians – at least eight of them children – killed in the early hours of the morning, after the Shati refugee camp near Gaza City was bombed.
Saturday afternoon, an Israeli missile destroyed a tall building housing residential apartments and press offices in Gaza City, including Al Jazeera Media Network and The Associated Press news agency.
The latest escalation of violence followed weeks of tensions in East Jerusalem occupied by an already adjourned judicial hearing related to the forced expulsion of several Palestinian families from their homes in Sheikh Jarrah.
Tensions in East Jerusalem also spread to the grounds of the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which Israeli forces stormed for three consecutive days during the final week of Ramadan, firing tear gas and firing grenades at worshipers inside. the mosque and wounding hundreds.
On Saturday, at the Beit El protest, Suhad Nasser and his sister Samira wore Nakba Day T-shirts and traditional Palestinian kaffiyehs, or scarves, waved Palestinian flags.
“Our family is originally from Lod in Israel and was first forced to flee their home in 1948 and now we see Palestinians leaving their homes again and that is a very painful point for us,” he said. Suhad.