***image3***Palestinians on Friday entered into a confrontation with Occupation forces who harassed them as they attempted to attend prayers at the Dome of the Rock.
Hundreds of Palestinians from Hebron and Bethlehem attempting to enter Jerusalem for prayers were stopped at the checkpoint in north of the city and forced to wait for several hours by the Apartheid Wall.
After continued harassment, Palestinians began to demand to be let through, shouting and pushing at the occupying forces. The military responded by beating a number of Palestinians with clubs and by firing tear gas and sound bombs. As the confrontation escalated a number of youths began throwing stones and the occupiers responded with rubber bullets, causing injuries. A number of elderly people lost consciousness after being tear-gassed.
***image2***In a separate incident, Occupation forces attacked the village of Bil’in, breaking into a number of houses, firing rubber bullets and tear gas into people’s homes and arresting Emad Birnat, a local photographer. The attack came after the village’s weekly demonstration against the Apartheid Wall. Around 150 people marched to the gates of the wall, demanding access to land isolated behind it. The olive harvest season has now begun and villagers’ demands to access their land are more vital than ever. Occupation forces declared the area to be a ‘closed military zone’ and demanded that the demonstration disperse. When they refused to do so, the villagers were attacked with tear gas and rubber bullets. One demonstrator was injured and a number of others suffered breathing difficulties from the tear gas. Occupation forces then advanced into the village where they attacked Palestinians in their homes.
In Qafin, Mostafa Tuma, 18, was shot in the stomach by Occupation forces at the village gate. The previous night, home-made grenades were thrown at occupation forces manning the gate in the Apartheid Wall. For the last two months, villagers have been subject to increasingly humiliating restrictions placed on passage through the gate by Occupation forces.