Last updated: 20 November, 2012

Israelis and Palestinians clash in West Bank

Palestinians clashed with Israeli security forces in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday as thousands marched demanding revenge for the killing of a protester the day before.

Around 5,000 people rallied in the southern West Bank city of Hebron, denouncing the shooting Monday of Hamdi Falah as he protested against Israel’s bombing campaign against the Gaza Strip, an AFP correspondent said.

The protesters, who marched after Falah’s funeral, raised the Palestinian flag as Israeli security forces looked on.

After the rally ended, about 1,000 youngsters hurled stones at Israeli troops in the city centre who responded by firing hundreds of tear gas canisters, in scenes reminiscent of the height of the Palestinian Intifada, the correspondent said.

Another 500 people marched in Nablus, from the centre to the Hawara Israeli military checkpoint on its outskirts.

Clashes also broke out in the northern West Bank city with police firing tear gas to disperse the crowd and arresting two people, witnesses said.

The West Bank has witnessed almost daily demonstrations in support of Gaza Palestinians who have faced a week of Israeli air strikes against militants firing rockets at the Jewish state.

Two people have died in the West Bank unrest, including 22-year-old Falah, who was shot dead by Israeli forces in unclear circumstances.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said troops had opened fire “after being assaulted by a masked man who had approached them in a suspicious way” near the site of Monday’s rally.

But Palestinian police and the ambulance services said he was killed in an area where no clashes had taken place.

The Gaza violence has seen rival Palestinian factions Hamas, which controls the strip, and the West Bank’s Fatah announce an agreement to end years of fighting in a show of solidarity.

Although details of that deal remain vague, they include a promise to hold a meeting between the two factions’ most senior leaders.