Violence spreads to West Bank

Palestinian teen shot dead by troops in Hebron; rally held in Ramallah; Three Israelis hurt.

idf tear gaz protest heb (photo credit:)
idf tear gaz protest heb
(photo credit: )
A day after the single largest Palestinian death toll in seven years of violence, Palestinian protests spread to the West Bank on Sunday, as Israeli security officials increased security due to concern over retaliatory attacks. The worst of the violence took place at midday in Hebron, where IDF soldiers shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy during a demonstration. An army spokesman said initial information suggested the youth had been throwing firebombs and putting soldiers at risk. The clashes began when several hundred Palestinian youths threw stones at an IDF checkpoint in Hebron's city center, and then threw bombs at Israeli cars. Anti-Israel protests were held in other West Bank towns as well. In solidarity with their Gaza brethren, thousands of schoolchildren demonstrated against Israel in Ramallah. Sporadic, small protests were held throughout east Jerusalem as well, and stoning attacks were reported in and around the city. In the most serious incident, a group of Jewish visitors were stoned on the Temple Mount by an Arab youth, police said. No one was reported wounded in the lunch-time attack, and the suspect was quickly taken into custody. A Palestinian man who tried to prevent police from arresting the minor was arrested on the scene. Throughout the morning and afternoon, Arab protesters pelted police with stones during a series of processions through east Jerusalem, where merchants were striking in solidarity for Palestinians in Gaza. Six Arab residents of the city were detained by police after threatening east Jerusalem shopkeepers to pressure them to join the strike, Jerusalem police spokesman Shmuel Ben-Ruby said. On the outskirts of Jerusalem, police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of rioters who pelted police with stones and set tires on fire, police said. Three Israelis, including a civilian, were lightly wounded Sunday in the West Bank in separate stone-throwing incidents. Cyclist Dave Silverman, 52, of Beit Shemesh was pelted with stones Sunday near Betar Illit. The incident occurred near the village of Husan; one of the stones hit his helmet. "It freaked me out, but I kept going," Silverman said. The assailants fled the scene. Jerusalem police heightened their alert level due to the violence in Gaza, but did not go on red alert, police officials said Sunday. A red alert is imposed in the wake of intelligence information indicating a specific warning of a suicide bombing. Magen David Adom went on its second-highest alert level. Police in the West Bank heightened security examinations at checkpoints on the outskirts of Jerusalem, and set up spot checks on vehicles entering the city. The Home Front Command ordered its units to increased alert due to concern that Palestinians may attack Israeli civilians in retaliation for the violence in Gaza.