Israeli security forces are clashing with protesting as Palestinians mark Land Day. They used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowds. Some reports say rubber bullets were used against the protesters.
A Gaza youth was reportedly killed and a journalist seriously injured at the Erez checkpoint between Israel and Gaza, RT’s Paula Slier reports from the scene.
The clashes erupted after a tense hours-long stand-off at border checkpoints, as Palestinian youths threw stones at riot police, who responded in turn with the occasional tear gas canister.
Israel has ramped up security ahead of the Friday protests, restricting cross-border travel and access to the al-Aqsa Mosque. Some 1,000 additional law enforcement personnel have been deployed in Jerusalem and its neighboring areas.
Palestinians are marking Land Day on Friday with mass protest rallies. The annual commemoration is dedicated to the 1976 clashes over a land dispute with Israelis, which ended with six people killed and hundreds wounded.
Organizers of this year’s rally had promised to keep the event peaceful. Last year’s border protest on Land Day turned violent, leaving 13 people killed and more than 10,000 injured.