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15 May, 2012 15:35

Palestinians clash with IDF while marking Nakba Day (VIDEO)

Clashes have broken out between protesters and Israeli security forces, as Palestinians mark Nakba - or Catastrophe – Day with rallies and a general strike in the West Bank. Dozens are said to be injured.

More than 80 Palestinians have been injured in Ramallah, where the most violent clashes are reported on a day which marks establishment of Israel 64 years ago, but also reminds Palestinians of their ensuing exodus. Sixty-three Palestinians were injured outside Ofer prison and 21 were wounded at the Qalandiya checkpoint between Ramallah and Jerusalem, local Ma'an News agency reports, citing medics.Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets in response to protesters who started throwing stones and firebombs at IDF and Israeli civilians. Annual commemoration of Palestinians’ mass displacement has also turned violent at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarch in Hebron, where Palestinians rioted and burned tires. In the city of Gaza, thousands of demonstrators headed to UN Headquarters carrying Palestinian flags and chanting slogans against Israel.The Israeli military along the Gaza border remain on high alert as there are fears that commemoration could descend into more violence as the day progresses. Several arrests were reported in cities across the West Bank.Nakba Day, commemorated annually on May 15, is normally marked by protest, and often by clashes with Israelis in the Palestinian territories.Last year such protests saw violent clashes that left a dozen people killed. The 64th anniversary of the Nakba comes after nearly two decades of failed efforts to negotiate the terms of a Palestinian state with Israel.