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Israeli forces suppress Palestinian Naksa march in Hebron

June 7, 2017 12:05 P.M. (Updated: June 7, 2017 8:37 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces suppressed a protest in the southern occupied West Bank city in Hebron on Tuesday, launched to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and the Gaza Strip.

June 5 is remembered by Palestinians as “Naksa” Day, meaning “setback,” marking the Israeli invasion and occupation of the West Bank, Gaza, Sinai, and the Golan Heights that began on June 5, 1967 during the Six-Day War, displacing some 300,000 Palestinians, as well as thousands of Syrians, from their homes.

The protest march headed from the northern entrance of Hebron city towards Road 35 that leads to the town of Halhul, when Israeli forces fired stun grenades at demonstrators and assaulted local human rights activist Imad Abu Shamsiya, local activists told Ma'an.

The peaceful protesters were holding torches and signs in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, which called for the end of Israel's occupation of the Palestinian territory.

Local activist from the National Campaign to Lift the Closure of Hebron and Fatah secretary in Hebron Muhanad al-Jabari said that despite 50 years of occupation, the Palestinian people would continue to resist by all possible means and demand their right to self-determination.

Hebron Defense Committee representative Anan Dana said that Israel's “racist, colonial system of segregation” has only developed and expanded over the years, and that the Palestinian people would not stop resisting “until the last colonist soldier is expelled from Palestinian land.”

Coordinator of Human Rights Defenders in Palestine Badi Dweik said that the protest was organized as part of numerous actions aiming to call international attention to the suffering of the Palestinian residents of Hebron.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they would look into reports on the protest.

Hebron has long been a flashpoint for tensions between Palestinians and Israeli settlers and military, as it is located near illegal Israeli settlements whose residents are notoriously aggressive toward Palestinians.

Certain areas of the city have been designated as H2, an area taking over the bulk of Hebron's Old City, which is under full Israeli military control and the site of five illegal Israeli settlements that continually expand into surrounding Palestinian neighborhoods.

The Israeli-controlled H2 area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces.
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