Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters Saturday in the northern West Bank wounded five people, including two photographers, Palestinian sources said.
The clashes broke out near an army post just south of the city of Nablus, where 200 Palestinians had gathered to mark 67 years since the “Nakba”, or “catastrophe”, that befell them when Israel was established.
Israeli troops fired rubber bullets and tear gas grenades as Palestinians tried to approach their post, prompting the protesters to pelt the soldiers with stones, Palestinian security sources said.
But the Israeli army blamed Palestinians for instigating the clashes.
An army spokeswoman said at least a hundred Palestinians took part in a “violent protest” during which they “threw stones and petrol bombs at the soldiers, and set tyres on fire.”
She said two Palestinians were slightly wounded when Israeli troops responded with “riot dispersal means”.
Palestinian medics gave a toll of five wounded: three protesters as well as freelance photographer Samantha Comizzoli of Italy and a Palestinian colleague who works for the Chinese news agency Xinhua.
Palestinians on Friday officially marked the “Nakba” to lament their fate when Israel was created in 1948 when 21 Palestinians were wounded as troops fired tear gas and rubber and live bullets.