Palestinian demonstrations to protest US position on the settlements

UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY NEWS) — Demonstrations began in the Palestinian cities on Tuesday at the invitation of the government and the factions to protest the recent US position on Israeli settlements, causing dozens of injuries among the demonstrators.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced about a week ago that the United States considers that settlements in the occupied West Bank are not contrary to international law.

Israel welcomed the US decision while the Palestinian Authority said it would call for an international inquiry into the legality of Washington’s position.

Palestinian and Islamic forces called for a “day of rage,” while the government allowed employees and ministries to leave their workplaces to take part in demonstrations.

In the center of Ramallah, several thousand people took part in a central demonstration joined by Prime Minister Mohammad Ashtiyeh and a number of politicians.

“We are here to say with a clear and loud voice that we want to end the occupation, we want the right of return, our right to our land and these strangers in the settlements have no place on our land,” Ashtiyeh told the media.

Participants in the demonstration carried pictures of the detainee Sami Abu Diak, who was pronounced dead on Tuesday morning at the Ramla prison clinic after a struggle with cancer.

Participants in the demonstration went to the northern area adjacent to Beit El camp north of the city, where the young men blocked the main road with burning tires and threw stones at Israeli soldiers.

According to an AFP correspondent, clashes erupted between the youths and the Israeli army, which fired tear gas and rubber bullets at the youths.

Ambulances treated young people who suffered from suffocation due to inhalation of tear gas, and ambulances were seen carrying injured people.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, the number of casualties at all contact points was 63, most of them minor.

For the first time, Palestinians participated in such demonstrations.

“I have not been involved in such protests for a long time, but our situation has become unbearable,” said Ziad Barakat, a school teacher.

In the northern West Bank city of Nablus, a march of about 4,000 people reached the city center with slogans condemning settlement policy, according to an AFP photographer.

The demonstrators burned the Israeli and American flags, as well as the sculptures of both Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his ally US President Donald Trump, as well as a model of Pompeo.

The southern West Bank city of Hebron witnessed sporadic clashes at the seam points in the center of the city and in the cities of Halhoul, Dura, Beit Ummar and Al-Arroub refugee camp, following a march in which about 2,000 people arrived in the city center.

According to an AFP correspondent that the Israeli soldiers responded to the throwing of Palestinian children stones, firing sound bombs and tear gas.

Israel occupied the West Bank in 1967, where more than 400,000 Israelis live in settlements built on the territory of the nearly 3 million Palestinians.

Settlements are illegal under international law.

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