BEIRUT

Middle East

Jerusalem police battle protesters, injure newsmen

Israeli border policemen detain a Palestinian during a Land Day protest in Jerusalem on Saturday, March 29, 2014. (AP Photo/Mahmoud Illean)

JERUSALEM: Israeli police used force on Saturday to break up a Palestinian protest march in occupied east Jerusalem, injuring several people including two journalists, news photographers said.

Several demonstrators and four journalists -- among them a photographer from Agence France-Presse and another from Reuters -- were slightly injured by projectiles fired by police during the incident, near the walled Old City's Damascus Gate.

The AFP photographer, who was hit on the head, was treated in a local hospital and discharged.

The demonstration, by a few dozen activists, was to mark the eve of Land Day when Arab Israelis and Palestinians in Israeli-annexed east jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza hold protest rallies.

It commemorates the day in 1976 when six Arab Israeli protesters were killed by Israeli security forces during mass protests against plans to confiscate Arab land in the northern Galilee region.

"The demonstrators began to throw stones at police on the scene," police spokeswoman Luba Samri told AFP, adding that officers responded with unspecified "riot dispersal means".

She said six people were arrested for public disorder offences but said she had no report of any casualties.

The Foreign Press Association, which represents the international news media in Israel, has repeatedly complained to Israeli authorities over a string of violent incidents involving security forces and journalists.

 

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