Israelis, Palestinians clash near Bethlehem
March 20, 1997
Web posted at: 9:33 a.m. EST (1433 GMT)
BETHLEHEM, West Bank (CNN) -- Israeli troops fired tear gas
Thursday at hundreds of stone-throwing Palestinians
protesting Israel's building of a Jewish settlement in Arab
About 500 Palestinians, some of them students from Bethlehem
University, began their protest with a peaceful march.
Later, however, the demonstration deteriorated. Stone-
throwing protesters broke through Palestinian police barriers
near the tomb of the biblical matriarch Rachel in Bethlehem,
which is guarded by Israeli troops.
At that point, the Palestinian police presence evaporated.
More than 300 marchers were involved in the clashes, in which
demonstrators threw stones at about 150 Israeli soldiers.
There were no immediate reports of injuries. But witnesses
said some 50 Palestinian stone-throwers were pelting Israeli
soldiers with stones an hour after the unrest began.
Israeli soldiers fired tear gas from behind barricades they
had erected on the main street linking Bethlehem to
The scene was reminiscent of the Intifada, the 1987-1993
Palestinian uprising against Israel's military occupation of
the West Bank and Gaza in which stones and rocks were used
against Israeli troops.
Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat had asked Palestinians to
refrain from violence during protests against the housing
Jerusalem Bureau Chief Walter Rodgers and Reuters contributed to this report.
Related sites:Note: Pages will open in a new browser window
External sites are not endorsed by CNN Interactive.
© 1997 Cable News Network, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.