Palestinians protest against Israel's building of settlements, separation wall   2010-03-13 01:24:42 FeedbackPrintRSS

GAZA/RAMALLAH, March 12 (Xinhua) -- Hundreds of Palestinians Friday demonstrated in the West Bank and the Hamas-ruled Gaza Strip against the Israeli construction of separation wall and the expansion of Jewish settlements.

Israeli soldiers and Palestinian demonstrators clashed during the protests against the separation wall that dominated several West Bank areas, said a source of anti-war group in Ramallah, adding that several demonstrators were hurt by Israeli soldiers' fire.

The source and witnesses said the demonstrations were staged in the villages of Deir Nizam, Bel'ien and Ne'lien near Ramallah with around 400 protestors, including some Israeli peace activists.

Witnesses said the Israeli army forces dispersed the demonstrations by firing tear gas canisters and rubber bullets. Medics said at least six demonstrators were lightly injured by rubber-coated metal bullets.

Earlier Friday, Palestinian sources in the West Bank said three Palestinians were injured during clashes with Jewish settlers in the village of Jet near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilia.

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians took to the streets of Gaza City to protest against the recent Israeli government decision to expand Jewish settlement in East Jerusalem.

The Hamas movement and the Islamic Jihad as well as other Palestinian groups joined the demonstration. People chanted slogans against Israel and called for carrying out attacks against Israel and the United States.

Several demonstrators burned the flags of Israel and the United States during the demonstration, which gathered at the square of the Unknown Soldier in Gaza city's downtown.

Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas leader told the crowds that Hamas movement "rejects the direct and the indirect negotiations with the Israeli occupation."

The Arab League and Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) approved this week a U.S. plan of launching four-month indirect talks between Israel and the Palestinians to discuss the borders of a future Palestinian state before they go to direct talks.

However, tension between Israel and the Palestinians flared after the Israeli government Tuesday decided to build 1,600 new housing units in Jewish settlements in East Jerusalem.

The decision outraged a large number of Palestinians and Arabs and threatened the efforts to launch the proximity talks between Palestinians and Israelis.

Editor: yan
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