• March 30, 2010

IOF troops clash with Palestinian marchers

IOF troops clash with Palestinian marchers

Israeli occupation forces (IOF) on Monday quelled a massive march that started in downtown Bethlehem and toured its streets in protest at the IOF abduction of 11 Palestinians who took part in a Palm Sunday march while heading to Jerusalem.

Marchers raised Palestinian flags and placards denouncing the IOF practices and demanding international pressures on Israel to desist from its arbitrary practices.

They headed toward the northern crossing of Bethlehem leading to Jerusalem but the IOF soldiers closed its iron gate and halted Bethlehem-Jerusalem traffic.

Violent confrontations took place between young men and the IOF soldiers who fired rubber bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the youths who were throwing stones.

Demonstrators staged a sit-in at the site during which many speeches were delivered condemning the Israeli occupation’s policies.

The IOF sealed off the West Bank starting Monday until the end of the Jewish Passover, which lasts for one week.

Militias loyal to former PA chief Mahmoud Abbas, whose term in office expired over a year ago, joined the IOF in quelling the Bethlehem march.

Witnesses reported that those militias were beating anyone throwing stones at the IOF and the journalists covering the event. The journalists staged a sit-in to protest the militias “barbaric” quelling means.