Israeli fire wounds 15 Palestinians in Gaza rallies

10:53, May 16, 2011      

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Israeli fire wounded 15 Palestinians during a demonstration in the Gaza Strip Sunday as Palestinians marked the 63rd anniversary of their uprooting when Israel was being created, witnesses and security sources said.

Israeli forces fired two shells and a volley of shots to distance dozens of youths who broke from a larger demonstration near Gaza's northern borders with Israel, the witnesses said.

In another incident, the Israeli forces, guarding Israel's borders in eastern Gaza City, also fired at demonstrators who approached security fence separating the Palestinian and Israeli territories.

At least 15 people were wounded in the two incidents, according to medical sources. The wounded were taken to hospitals where doctors said their injuries were slight to moderate.

In the West Bank, meanwhile, clashes erupted between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli forces on Qalandia checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem. Early reports said that several Palestinians were wounded.

Demonstrations started across the Palestinian territories Sunday to mark the Nakba (Catastrophe), the name they use to refer to Israel's creation in 1948 and the subsequent mass evictions of Palestinians from their home towns and villages.

Speaking on the occasion, Ismail Haneya, a Hamas leader in Gaza, said that Palestinians can win the battle against Israel "only when they fight under the flag of Islam." He also called for supporting armed resistance against Israel.

Source: Xinhua
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