Monday 30 March 2009

Israel soldiers tear gas al-Khalil demo

Israeli soldiers use tear gas and shock grenades to disperse demonstrators protesting against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said soldiers dispersed the Palestinian and Israeli protesters in al-Khalil's (Hebron) Old City on Saturday after they disturbed public order in an area under Israeli control.

A video footage from the scene showed Israeli soldiers pushing demonstrators, including Israeli Arab lawmaker Mohammad Barakeh. A number of foreign peace activists were also present at the protest, Reuters reported.

Israeli and Palestinian demonstrators said the protest was part of several events aimed at marking Land Day, the annual commemoration of protests in 1976 against Israel's occupation of Arab-owned land in al-Jaleel (Galilee).

The demonstrators were also demanding that Palestinians be allowed to use a road in the old town of al-Khalil after they were denied access by the Israeli military for what it called 'security reasons'.

Some 600 illegal settlers live under Israeli military protection in the heart of the West Bank city of al-Khalil that is inhabited by 180,000 Palestinians.


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