Tampa resident eyewitness to violence in West Bank

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Violence has increased in the occupied Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem. So much so that Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas says he has no interest in an “escalation” and is ready to talk with Israel. The remarks came at a meeting of top Palestinian officials today over the latest surge in violence. Abbas urged Israel to stop building settlements, carry out a previously pledged prisoner release and return to peace talks.

To find out more about the violence in the West Bank, WMNF spoke Tuesday afternoon with an eyewitness: Tampa resident Dezeray Lyn, who is volunteering in Palestine.

“I’ve been in al Khalil, in Hebron,  for a month. Lately, since Saturday, there have been violent clashes there and all over in the West Bank. But in Hebron soldiers that were Israeli Forces and Border Police are flooding thru the checkpoints with snipers on the surrounding roofs. They’ve been firing indiscriminately stun grenades, tear gas, skunk water, live ammo. Small shop owners are, you know, running through the chaos, bringing their goods inside. The shops themselves, they’re running inside lof them for cover but because they’re full of tear gas the shop owners are just stuck inside of them with the tear gas, sometimes with their families and their children. Meanwhile, for the injured, ambulances have been desperately trying to get inside but there is no break at all in the fire. The soldiers and the border police continue firing even when the medics are there trying to get to the injured.

“And then today we went to a funeral in Bethlehem for a 13 year old boy, a Palestinian boy, who was shot by Israeli forces yesterday when he left for school. And after the funeral, immediately after, within minutes, the hundreds of people that were there were violently attacked by dozens of military police and Israeli soldiers. They fired live ammunition, they fired rubber-coated steel bullets, hundreds, hundreds of tear gas canisters and they had the truck come and spray skunk water at everyone and 21 people were rushed to the hospital. Same thing, the ambulances were rushing to get in and out with the injured, you know with no break in the fire, no break in the teargas. So it’s been like this since Saturday, on a constant level, every single day, all over the West Bank.”

information from the Associated Press was used in this report