By Chris Carlson
International Middle East Media Center: Clashes between Palestinian youth and Israeli forces spilled over onto Bethlehem’s Manger Street, on Friday, after two weeks of daily confrontations in the nearby Aida refugee camp.
Local activist Salah Ajarma told Ma’an News Agency that clashes between protestors and Israeli forces took place in the area around Rachel’s Tomb, on the main road leading through Bethlehem from Jerusalem to Hebron, as well as on nearby Manger Street.
Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at protestors as they threw rocks in the direction of the soldiers, who blocked off Bethlehem’s main streets.
Unconfirmed reports by local activists and eyewitnesses stated that one protestor was injured in the clashes due to excessive tear gas inhalation.
Furthermore, Ma’an reports that residents of Azza refugee camp, located near the scene of Friday’s fighting, will hold memorial services, on Saturday, to commemorate the one year anniversary of the death of 15-year-old Salah al-Amarin, who was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in the Aida refugee camp last January.
The clashes in Bethlehem come after nearly two weeks of daily clashes between Israeli forces and youth in the Aida refugee camp, near Rachel’s Tomb.
At least three protestors have been injured in the Aida clashes, two from live bullets and one from rubber bullets, according to Ajarma.
Clashes around the holy site are a frequent occurrence, as it is surrounded on three sides by the Israeli annexation wall, and despite being in the middle of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.
There are 19 refugee camps in the occupied West Bank, within which live about a quarter of the 771,000 registered refugees in the territory.
More than 760,000 Palestinians — estimated today to number 4.8 million with their descendants — were pushed into exile or driven out of their homes in the conflict surrounding Israel’s creation in 1948.