Palestinians stage demos on Six Day War anniversary
AFP, Tuesday 5 Jun 2012
Around 200 Palestinians organize small protests near Ramallah city on the 45th anniversary of the Six Day War in which Israel captured the West Bank and Gaza Strip

Palestinians on Tuesday staged small demonstrations to mark the 45th anniversary of the Six Day War in which Israel seized the West Bank and Gaza Strip.

Near the West Bank city of Ramallah, around 200 people protested by the Ofer military prison, with clashes breaking out as demonstrators threw stones at troops who fired tear gas.

Several people were injured lightly and treated at the scene, medical sources told AFP.

In Hebron, around 200 protesters took part in a rally, including foreign activists. An AFP photographer said clashes also broke out there, with Israeli troops arresting at least two people.

In Gaza City, between 200 and 300 people marched from the Square of the Unknown Soldier to the United Nations' Gaza headquarters in a rally organised by the ruling Hamas movement.

Protesters held up maps depicting pre-1948 Palestine, including what is now Israel, and waved green Hamas flags.

The small and largely peaceful marches were in stark contrast to last year's anniversary, when protesters attempted to storm across the border from Syria into the occupied Golan Heights.

Troops opened fire on the demonstrators, with Syria claiming 23 people were killed and 350 wounded by Israeli soldiers. Israel said it counted 10 deaths, but that none of the demonstrators were killed by Israeli fire.

Three weeks earlier, thousands of protesters in Lebanon, Syria and Gaza had tried to force their way across the borders in a mass show of mourning over the 1948 creation of the Jewish state, known as the "Nakba" or "catastrophe."

At that time, hundreds forced their way onto the Israeli-controlled Golan, where troops opened fire killing four, while a similar yet unsuccessful attempt along the Lebanon border left seven dead, according to UN figures.