Israel's 'Nakba' Fatalities May Spur more Violence
JERUSALEM, Israel -- Israeli police and security forces are on heightened alert Friday as Arab residents bury two youths killed in yesterday's Nakba (catastrophe) Day observance protesting the establishment of the State of Israel.
The P.A. warned that more rioting may follow the funeral.
Arabs observe what they call the Nakba on May 15, the day after Yom Ha'atzmaut (Israel Independence Day on the Gregorian calendar), with rioting and violent demonstrations in areas under Palestinian Authority control in Judea and Samaria and under Hamas in the Gaza Strip.
The official Palestinian Ma'an news agency charged that Border Police used live ammunition. Ma'an quoted "medical sources" saying Muhammad Audah Abu al-Thahir, 22, and Nadim Siyam Nuwarah, 17, from an Arab village near Ramallah, just outside Jerusalem, "were shot by live ammunition in the chest," and "three teenagers were also injured by live bullets."
But Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld told CBN News Friday morning that Border Police did not use live ammunition against the rioters, confirming an earlier statement that police used "riot dispersal means" to quell the violence.
"Border Police used rubber bullets in yesterday's riots," Rosenfeld said, noting that "the incident is still being looked into by the IDF and Border Police."
About 200 demonstrators rioted near an IDF checkpoint reportedly to protest detainees who are being interrogated, many for terror-related crimes. Protesters threw rocks at Border Police and set tires on fire.
Arabs hurled rocks from slingshots to inflict maximum injury and burned and stamped on Israeli flags. Some Israeli and Western observers say Palestinian violence is one of the main reasons why 20 years of negotiations that began with the 1993 Oslo Accords have yet to yield an agreement.
Others such as Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon say the largely youthful protesters have been raised on a diet of hatred in their schools, mosques, and cultural lives. They've been inundated with hatred against their Jewish neighbors and have managed to convince others in Europe and around the world to stand with them.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to the Nakba during a tour of the nearly completed Jerusalem sports complex.
"Today, not far from here, in the Palestinian Authority, they are marking what they call Nakba Day. They stand silent in order to commemorate the disaster of the establishment of Israel, the state of the Jewish people. They educate their children with endless propaganda that the State of Israel needs to disappear," Netanyahu said.
"We have many responses to this. The first response is that we are continuing to build up our state and our united capital, Jerusalem," a clear rebuke of the P.A.'s claims on the city's eastern sector as the capital of its future state.
"We will also give another response to the Nakba," Netanyahu continued. "We will pass the nationality law that makes it clear to the entire world that Israel is the state of the Jewish people," he concluded, referring to pending legislation that officially proclaims the Jews' historical homeland.