By Middle East Affairs
Protesters began marching from Ramallah and El Bireh at 11 A.M, Monday morning, to walk towards the Qalandiyah checkpoint near Jerusalem.
Since this morning 11 Palestinians have been wounded by rubber-coated metal bullets, while dozens of people fainted from gas inhalation during clashes that broke out near the Qalandiyah army checkpoint near the North of Jerusalem.
Palestinians living in the West Bank and Jerusalem showed their outrage Monday ahead of Tuesday’s 70th anniversary of the Nakba and the controversial opening of the United States’ new embassy in Jerusalem, a city which Israel and Palestine both claim as their territory.
Israeli occupation forces fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters at hundreds of participants in the Great Return March in the north of Jerusalem.
The National Committee to Commemorate the Nakba says Palestinians should show up and protest the embassy opening, demanding their right to statehood and self-determination.
Protestors have come from other cities as well, including Bethlehem, Hebron, Nablus, and Jericho.
A press release from the committee said: “This is the day the masses will turn out to defend Jerusalem and oppose any attempt to distort the city’s identity. We urge young people to clash with the occupation forces at points of contact and checkpoints.”
Fatah, the Palestinian Authority’s governing party and defunct leading organization in the West Bank is encouraging people as well to go out and demonstrate.
Other organizations are in attendance, such the Higher Arab Monitoring Committee, a canopy organization serving Israel’s Arab community in the Arnona neighborhood, the same neighborhood where the new U.S. embassy will open on Tuesday. Jerusalem’s Palestinians who are not members of the organization are also invited to attend the demonstrations.
Mohammed Barakeh, a committee chairman from the committee, released a statement that said: “We’ll raise our voice against U.S. policy, which backs the Israeli government’s occupation and settlements and the destruction of the possibility of establishing a Palestinian state in the 1967 borders with East Jerusalem as its capital.”
Israel’s Defense Forces have warned that the Nakba protests on Monday and Tuesday will be the deadliest protests in history. To discourage protestors, the IDF delivered leaflets to Palestinians telling them to stay away from the Gaza border and to avoid coming into contact with the fence.
IDF’s message is that anyone who comes towards the border will be treated as a terrorist and met with according forces.