AFP/Hebron, Palestinian Territories
Hundreds of Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers Friday in the powderkeg West Bank city of Hebron on the anniversary of a 1994 massacre carried out by a far-right Jewish settler.
Soldiers fired tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the crowd as cannons doused them with stinking water, an AFP correspondent said. There was no report of injuries.
Jewish settlers, of whom 500 are entrenched in the centre of the city of around 200,000 Palestinians, hurled stones at the protesters who also pelted soldiers with stones.
Settler Baruch Goldstein on February 25, 1994 mowed down 29 Palestinians inside Hebron's Cave of the Patriarchs, holy to Muslims and Jews alike, before being lynched.
Also on Friday, dozens of Palestinians staged a protest in Hebron against US President Donald Trump who has voiced strong support of Israel, pelting a huge portrait of America's leader with shoes, an ultimate insult in the Arab world.
‘This is a Palestinian product. He will get it in his face, him and everybody supporting him,’ said activist Issa Amro.
‘Today we are here to send the message to the Trump administration that we exist, we deserve full rights as everybody in the world. We disrespect this president who does not see us as equal human beings with everyone.’
Palestinians in Hebron have stepped up calls for the Israeli army to re-open a street near the Jewish settler enclave in the heart of the city that has been largely closed off to Palestinians for the past 23 years since the massacre.
Hebron has been at the centre of a wave of deadly unrest since October 2015 that has killed 252 Palestinians, 36 Israelis, two US nationals, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese, according to an AFP count.
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