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The BBC's Hilary Andersson
"Hundreds had converged at an Israeli check-point in a furious mood"
 real 28k

The BBC's Jeremy Cooke in Jerusalem
"Arab youths confronted the Israeli security forces, throwing stones and petrol bombs"
 real 28k

The BBC's Fergus Nicoll
"Every day, it seems, is a day of rage"
 real 56k

US President George W Bush
says he will help the two sides in the conflict to find their own solution to peace
 real 56k

Friday, 30 March, 2001, 20:36 GMT 21:36 UK
'Day of rage' sparks fierce violence
Palestinian demonstrator outside Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem
Clashes broke out near Al Aqsa mosque
A day of violent clashes between Palestinians and Israeli soldiers has left at least six Palestinians dead and more than 80 injured.

The clashes followed a call by the Palestinian leadership for a "day of rage" against Israel, after one of the most violent weeks of the current intifada, or uprising.

Israeli Arabs were also holding their annual Land Day protest against the seizure of Arab land by Israel 25 years ago.

An injured Palestinian is taken to an ambulance in Ramallah
The worst violence was in Ramallah, where hundreds of angry Palestinians confronted soldiers on the outskirts of the West Bank city.

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets elsewhere in the Palestinian territories and in Israel.

The Palestinian cabinet was forced to cancel its weekly meeting in Ramallah, after Israel banned participants from the Gaza Strip from passing through its territory to get to the West Bank.

Sharon effigy

Palestinian demonstrators in the city burned an effigy of the Israeli prime minister, Ariel Sharon, and chanted their support for the Palestinian suicide bombers.

Gunmen joined the confrontation, drawing Israeli fire from tank-mounted machine guns.

At least two Palestinians were shot dead during stone-throwing protests in the West Bank city of Nablus.

They feel like a captive population, bombed and shelled on a daily basis by an Israeli population that has no regard for human life

Hanan Ashrawi, speaking about her fellow Palestinians
There was also trouble near the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, where Palestinian youths threw stones and bottles at Israeli security forces.

The violence was the worst for several months and the funerals of the dead Palestinians may well generate further unrest.

Hanan Ashrawi, a prominent member of the Palestinian legislative council, said the Palestinians feel "enslaved".

She said: "They feel like a captive population, bombed and shelled on a daily basis by an Israeli population that has no regard for human life".

Week of violence

Friday's protests capped a violent week of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks that caused the deaths of three Israelis and at least 12 Palestinians.

Within Israel itself, all police leave was cancelled as Israeli Arabs marked Land Day - their annual protest against the confiscation of Arab land in 1976.

Mahmud Khaled Abu Shahada, 15, is buried in Gaza
A young Palestinian is buried
This year's Land Day protests were all the more sensitive for Israeli Arabs because of clashes in October, when Israeli police turned on demonstrators, killing 13 of them.

Three Palestinians died after clashes in the Gaza Strip on Thursday, which followed heavy Israeli air raids on Palestinian targets.

The Israeli air raids were a response to one of the most violent weeks since the six-month Palestinian uprising began. The last few days have seen three suicide bomb attacks, and the killing of three Israeli children.

On Thursday, US President George W Bush called for restraint by both Israelis and Palestinians. But he specifically warned Yasser Arafat to end violence by Palestinians.

Since the Palestinian uprising started, almost 450 people have been killed - more than 360 of them Palestinians and at least 60 Israeli Jews.

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See also:

28 Mar 01 | Middle East
Arab summit backs Palestinians
29 Mar 01 | Middle East
Bush moves on Middle East
30 Mar 01 | Middle East
Remembering Land Day
11 Oct 00 | Middle East
Israel's Arabs: Enemies within?
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