Fighting in Gaza sparks riots in West Bank

Monday, July 28, 2014

While fighting between Hamas and the Israeli military occurred in Gaza, violent demonstrations took place continuing into the weekend in the West Bank and the Old City of Jerusalem, in which eleven Palestinians died and more than a hundred were injured.

On Thursday, Palestinian leaders in the West Bank encouraged their followers to go out and demonstrate for their Palestinian brothers, in protest of the eighteen days of the Israeli attacks on Gaza. Thousands took to the streets and participated in rallies in various locations throughout the West Bank, as well as the Old City of Jerusalem. Some of the rallies were violent ones, and at least four Palestinians were killed in clashes with the Israeli security forces. This Friday was dubbed a "day of anger" as it saw continued violent protests, in which five Palestinians were killed in three different occurrences. A large funeral was held on Saturday in Hebron for the Palestinians who had been killed in the last clashes. Two more Palestinians were killed that day.

An Israeli military spokesperson told AFP, protesters on Thursday threw rocks and Molotov cocktails, and rolled burning tires, at the Israeli security forces. Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld said in the Old City of Jerusalem a few policemen were injured and about 20 protesters arrested. According to BBC, Palestinian leaders said we are in the midst of an "uprising of freedom and independence".

In the Gaza Strip, Israeli strikes continue, as well as rocket shootings from Gaza into Israel. So far, about 1,000 Palestinians and 42 Israelis have been killed in the fighting. The UN said over 118,000 Palestinians are using UN facilities for shelter throughout the Gaza Strip, while over forty percent of the Gaza Strip was under evacuation warning by the Israeli military.

Ground reporters say Israel struck a UN facility in Beit Hanoun on Thursday and there were casualties. An Israeli Military spokesperson said there was no intention to attack that place, and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Hamas is accountable for any civilian casualty. Hamas Leader Khaled Mashal from his exile in Qatar told the BBC, "We don't want to be controlled by a border crossing that makes Gaza the biggest prison in the world".