'Nakba Day' brings clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces

May 15, 2013 at 2:25 PM

JERUSALEM, May 15 (UPI) -- Palestinians observed Nakba Day Wednesday with rallies and stone-throwing attacks on Israel soldiers and police, a military spokeswoman said.

Nakba Day, or day of catastrophe, comes the day after the anniversary of the 1948 creation of the state of Israel and signifies the displacement of Palestinians. It was also marked with rallies and demonstrations in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, the Jerusalem Post reported.

Jerusalem police spokesman Mickey Rosenfeld said officers had been on high alert since the start of Nakba Day and used water cannons and horses, among other tactics, to protect Jewish visitors from potential attacks.

Clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers erupted in the city of Kalandya in the West Bank, the military spokeswoman said.

The Palestinian news agency reported similar incidents in the town of al-Ram, northeast of Jerusalem.

Four soldiers were injured when a Molotov cocktail exploded in the jeep in which they were riding near Mount Hebron, and 16 Palestinians were arrested at Damascus Gate in the Muslim section of Jerusalem for throwing rocks and bottles at police, the newspaper said.

In Ramallah, Palestinians gathered at Yasser Arafat's grave for a march to Yasser Arafat Square in the city center, the Palestinian Ma'an News Agency reported.

The marchers carried placards with the names of the villages and cities Palestinians fled, and 65 seconds of silence were observed at noon to mark the occasion.

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