Black smoke billows around the bride in white: Palestinian woman observes flaming tyres as clashes continue in West Bank and Gaza

  • Car passed clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops near Jewish settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah
  • Beit El is at forefront of the Israeli settlement project, and has led to a heightened state of tension
  • Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Gaza Strip’s border fence with Israel today

A Palestinian bride was seen being driven in a car today while smoke billowed from flaming tyres just an arm’s length away in the West Bank.

Her wedding day came amid clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah.

Beit El is at the forefront of the Israeli settlement project, and has led to a heightened state of tension.

A Palestinian bride was seen being driven in a car today while smoke billowed from flaming tyres in the West Bank

Her wedding day came amid clashes between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli troops near the Jewish settlement of Beit El, north of Ramallah

 The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, which they say is being rapidly eroded by Israeli settlement growth throughout the West Bank

Beit El is at the forefront of the Israeli settlement project, and has led to a heightened state of tension

One of the demonstrators prepares to hurl a flaming tyre near Beit El. More than 400,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank

A Palestinian protester with a Hamas flag on the outskirts of the West Bank city of Ramallah today

A Palestinian protester burns tyres during clashes with Israeli soldiers after a protest against the expanding of Jewish settlements in Kufr Qadoom village near the West Bank city of Nablus today

Hundreds of Palestinians on Friday converged on the Gaza Strip’s eastern border with Israel amid ongoing mass rallies against Israel. The violence came shortly after a top U.N. official urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against the protesters

The Palestinians see east Jerusalem as the capital of their future state, which they say is being rapidly eroded by Israeli settlement growth throughout the West Bank. 

More than 400,000 Israelis live in settlements in the West Bank. 

Meanwhile, hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Gaza Strip’s border fence with Israel today.

They tried to rip through it before drawing heavy Israeli fire in one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests. Three Palestinians were killed and dozens were reported wounded.

The violence came shortly after a top U.N. official urged Israel to refrain from using excessive force against the protesters.

At least 38 protesters have been killed by Israeli live fire and more than 1,600 wounded in the weekly protests since they began on March 30.

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to hurl stones at Israeli soldiers today during clashes in the West Bank city of Hebron

Hundreds of Palestinians converged on the Gaza Strip’s border fence with Israel today (pictured). They tried to rip through it before drawing heavy Israeli fire in one of the most violent incidents yet in five weeks of protests. Three Palestinians were killed and dozens were reported wounded

Israel has rejected the international criticism, saying it is defending its sovereign border and accusing Gaza’s Hamas leaders, who are organising the protests, of using the crowds as cover to carry out attacks.

In Friday’s unrest, a large crowd gathered a few hundred yards from the border, with some throwing stones and setting tyres on fire in what has become a weekly occurrence.  

Thousands have taken part in the Friday demonstrations from five protest tent camps, each set up several hundred yards from the border fence.  

Israeli officials have said that some of the protesters in recent weeks tried to damage the border fence or plant explosives along it. Others have tried to set Israeli fields on fire on the other side of the fence by hurling improvised explosives or firebombs, or flying flaming kites. 

Israel and Egypt imposed the Gaza blockade in 2007, in response to a violent takeover of the territory by Hamas, which had won Palestinian parliament elections a year earlier. 

The blockade has gutted Gaza’s economy, driving up unemployment and leaving two-thirds of young people without jobs.

Hamas’ Interior Ministry announced that Egypt had agreed to open the Rafah border crossing for three days, beginning Saturday. The temporary opening is the second this month.

Thousands have taken part in the Friday demonstrations from five protest tent camps, each set up several hundred yards from the border fence

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