Child throws stone during Land Day protest 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
The Global March to Jerusalem (GMJ) ended Friday evening with minimal violence
but the IDF said it was already preparing for the next round of clashes expected
One Palestinian was killed during clashes in the Gaza Strip
where IDF snipers shot at the legs of demonstrators who tried storming the Erez
Other hot spots included the Kalandiya crossing near Jerusalem
and Nabi Salih in the West Bank. Several dozen were injured in the West Bank but
mostly from tear gas.
Despite the relatively quiet outcome, IDF sources
said they expected additional – possibly more violent – demonstrations on a day
that commemorates Palestinian prisoners on April 17 as well as on Nakba Day and
Naksa Day in the coming months.
“There are still challenges ahead and
violence could escalate in the future,” a senior IDF officer said.
GMJ general coordinator had promised “two million participants,” but ultimately
only a few thousand marchers showed up in the vicinity of Israel’s borders,
primarily in Jordan and Lebanon.
Israel had warned the governments of
neighboring countries not to let protesters approach its border, and the warning
appears to have been largely effective.
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In Jordan, around 15,000 people
assembled in the central Jordan Valley near the Israeli border. The rally was
led by the Muslim Brotherhood, and also in attendance were four rabbis from
Neturei Karta, an anti-Zionist ultra- Orthodox movement.
kept from approaching the border fence by Jordanian police
Soldiers in Lebanon restricted the demonstration to Beaufort, a
castle 20 kilometers from the border. Around 2,000 demonstrators gathered there,
most of Palestinian origin.
Beirut’s Daily Star
newspaper reported that
Hezbollah had downsized its participation in the rally due to fears of
protesters chanting slogans against Syrian President Bashar Assad – an ally of
the group. The paper released images of two Neturei Karta rabbis attending the
event alongside Shi’ite clerics.
In Syria, a few thousand protesters
rallied in a central Damascus square, but there was no march on the border with
the Golan Heights as there was during last year’s Nakba Day and Naksa Day
Security forces in Egypt prevented any protest from taking
place, citing security concerns.
Palestinian news agency Ma’an quoted
general coordinator of the march, Ribhi Halloum, as saying that the rally lay
the groundwork for future activity and proved that “the Palestinian people are
still present and are still holding fast to their land.” Halloum claimed that
activists from 84 countries participated in various pro-Palestinian rallies
around the world on Friday.
Israeli security forces shot dead one man in
the Gaza Strip on Friday, medics said.Jerusalem Post staff contributed
to this report.
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