(JNi.media) A few locations in Judea and Samaria saw clashes between hundreds of Arab protesters and IDF soldiers throughout the morning and afternoon Tuesday, Israel Radio reported. The stormiest demonstration was in Ramallah, where protesters threw petrol bombs, laid down burning tires and threw stones. Arab sources reported that two demonstrators were slightly injured by rubber bullets. More riots took place in Hebron, Tulkarm and near Rachel’s Tomb in Bethlehem.
Ma’an reported that seven Arabs were injured by rubber bullets on Tuesday as Israeli forces pushed back a rally outside Ramallah in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and of Arab security prisoners.
Demonstrators marched from the center of Ramallah to the Jewish town of Beit El. Israeli forces fired tear gas, water canons, and rubber bullets, injuring seven people. There were unconfirmed reports of the IDF using live fire. According to Ma’an, dozens suffered tear gas inhalation.
PLO Executive Committee member Wasil Abu Yousef urged the international community to stop Israeli “restrictions and violations at Al-Aqsa,” which is code for a proposal to permit Jews to pray along the perimeter of the Temple Mount compound, in an arrangement similar to the regulations at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. A general strike across the PA saw stores closing for two hours in solidarity with the “threatened” mosque.
Amin Shouman, head of a Palestinian prisoners’ committee, said popular mobilization will continue in support of the Al-Aqsa Mosque and Arab security prisoners jailed in Israel.
An Israeli army spokeswoman confirmed that around 300 Arabs marched near Beit El, with Israeli forces using riot dispersal means before firing rubber bullets at the “main instigators.” She also confirmed that seven Arabs were hit.
Dozens of Jewish youths demonstrated Saturday night in the center of Jerusalem, yelling ‘Death to Arabs!’ A crowd of about 50 teens had gathered, police said. The protesters were gathered to demonstrate against Arab males who were “starting up with” and bothering Jewish girls on the streets of Jerusalem, according to a source who spoke on condition of anonymity.
Three Jewish teens were arrested for attacking and wounding a volunteer police officer, who was evacuated for treatment to Sha’are Tzedek Medical Center, and for incitement to attack Arabs.
In a separate incident, three other Jewish youths were arrested in connection with an attack on an Arab cab driver, according to Israel Police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld. It is not clear where the second attack took place; in response to a query to gain clarity on the issue, Rosenfeld replied simply, “In town.”
“In both cases, the investigation continues,” Rosenfeld told JewishPress.com.
Foreign media are reporting without question another Palestinian Authority story of a death of an elderly man – instead of the usual pregnant woman, toddler or mentally disturbed person – at the hands of the IDF, which was operating in the area of Kalkilya, located between western Samaria communities and the metropolitan Tel Aviv city of Kfar Saba.
A military spokeswoman told The Jewish Press that the IDF still is looking into the report. She confirmed there was activity in the areas and there was a report of a riot. The Israeli military usually does not enter Palestinian Authority villages unless there is a threat to Jewish motorists or unless it needs to arrest a terrorist cell.
The problem with these stories is that the IDF is thorough is in its investigation and does not immediately deny a report just for the sake of propaganda. Thursday’s claim by the Palestinian Authority could be true, but if it turns out that the 85-year-old man indeed died but without any connection to IDF activity, the damage will be too late to correct. It would not be the first time that the PA blamed Israel for the death of someone who died of natural causes or in a domestic accident.
With U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry scheduled to arrive in Israel in the late afternoon, these kinds of reports are just what Mahmoud Abbas ordered – ammunition for the ready-made anti-Israeli propaganda media machine.
The Palestinian Authority’s official WAFA news agency, which is freely cited by foreign reporters despite its frequent fabrication of incidents, told readers that the man died after inhaling tear gas when the IDF fired canisters that landed inside his home.
The local Arabs were staging a ”march,” according to WAFA, a “rally” according to the Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency. Both terms usually would be described as a riot except for those who think “resistance” is not violence.
The March, or rally, or riot, was “organized to mark 49 years for the launch of the Palestinian revolution against Israel, said witnesses,” according to WAFA.
The “Palestinian revolution against Israel” refers to the founding of the Fatah terrorist organization by Yasser Arafat.
Update from Sky News: More than 250 people have reportedly been killed as Egyptian security forces cleared two protest camps loyal to deposed president Mohamed Morsi.
Sky’s Sam Kiley, reporting from the Rabaa al Adawiya camp in Cairo, said it was “under very heavy gunfire” and was a “massive military assault on largely unarmed civilians in very large numbers”.
He added: “There are machine gun rounds and snipers on the roof that are preventing people from getting any closer to the field hospital.
Egyptian police broke up a Muslim Brotherhood sit-in near the Giza zoo in Cairo, in an attempt to clear the other at Rabaa El-Adawiya square after dawn on Wednesday. Egypt’s caretaker government has pledged to disperse the thousands of Islamists who were gathered in both venues, al Ahram reports.
The Cairo ambulance authority said five were killed and at least 52 wounded, but the Brotherhood put the death toll at 121, citing reports from a makeshift hospital located near the Rabaa sit-in.
Egypt’s state television said two policemen were killed and six wounded during the attempt to clear out the two sit-ins. All entrances to the sites are blocked by security forces.
Some 200 protesters were arrested on charges of carrying firearms, knives and gas canisters, the state news agency MENA reported.
“In accordance with government instructions to take necessary measures towards the sit-ins at Rabaa Al-Adawiya and Nahda, and for the safety of the country, security forces started taking measures to disperse the sit-ins early Wednesday,” the interior ministry said in a statement.”
Live television footage showed riot police firing tear gas at protesters at one of the entrances of Rabaa El-Adawiya mosque in northern Cairo, where tens of thousands have been camping for six weeks to demand the reinstatement of ousted President Mohamed Morsi.
Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad accused police snipers of firing at Rabaa protesters from the rooftop of surrounding buildings.
Al-Nahar and ONTV satellite channels said their cameras were confiscated by police.
At the Nahda camp, extending down a palm tree-lined boulevard next to the Cairo zoo in Giza, police used loudspeakers to urge protesters to leave as sounds of gunfire rang out.
“Armed men in both camps fired at police forces once they started dispersing the sit-ins … police were able to control Nahda and are still combing the surrounding area,” the interior ministry said in another statement on its official Facebook page.
“The police forces only used tear gas despite being attacked by live ammunition [from protesters].”
A Turkish doctor has charged that her patients who have suffered from tear gas fired by police show signs associated with CR gas, classified by the U.S. Army as a combat class chemical weapon that can cause serious side effects and can be lethal.
CR gas was developed the British and was used in Northern Ireland and is used in riot control today in Egypt and Israel, but its use in Turkey was not documented until Wednesday. The use may be legal, but if it is being deployed, the Erdogan government has kept it under wraps and prevented people from knowing.
Police sprayed gas, either the usual CS tear gas or CR gas, on protesters Wednesday as the riots continued after nine days, and the death toll has climbed to three.
The government had instructed police to use restraint, but police violence was seen in Ankara where unions called for a solidarity strike in sympathy with Gezi Park demonstrations.
Police also used water cannons to disperse demonstrators, and among those arrested were the Ankara bureau chief for a television channel and a cameraman.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, following the pattern of Hosni Mubarak and Basher al-Assad, among others, has called protesters “terrorists” and has placed the blamed for the riots primarily on users of social networks. His police arrested 25 people early Wednesday for the high crime of tweeting “misinformation.”
“This is a protest organized by extremist elements,” Erdogan said Monday a press conference.
“Have they already banned freedom of opinion and I have not heard about it?” tweeted one user, (at)CRustemov, as the news spread. “What on earth does it mean to get detained over Twitter!”
Thousands of people have been detained since the beginning of the protests, but most of them have been freed.
“We will not give away anything to those who live arm-in-arm with terrorism.”
Hopes by Erdogan that the violence would end, after his deputy prime minister Bulent Arinc apologized for police violence on Tuesday, have evaporated.
No one expects Turkey to follow Middle East countries that have seen revolutions topple their rulers following Arab Spring demonstrations, but Erdogan has been acting like the deposed rulers.
“He’s not been behaving rationally at all,” Gareth Jenkins, an Istanbul-based researcher with the Silk Road Studies Program at John Hopkins University, told US Today Wednesday. “He appears to be becoming almost delusional and refusing to accept the reality that these protests are mainly spontaneous and are being organized by small groups of people who’ve never engaged in politics before.”
His behavior should come as no surprise. He has been living in his own dream world for the past Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and Syrian President Bashar Assad, while reducing diplomatic relations with Israel to a their tier level.
He has since realized that choosing Ahmadinejad and Assad as friends was the wrong decision, but Erdogan still is a cheerleader for Hamas and wants to visit Gaza.
Years of promoting Turkey as a shining example of prosperity, democracy and tolerance have gone up in smoke.
Property damage and massive injuries, many of them from CD or CR gas, have forced an Istanbul mosque dating back to the Ottoman empire to be converted into a makeshift field hospital.