In the West Bank, Israeli forces have blockaded the Palestinian village of Ni’lin.
On Sunday, in order to prevent foreigners from joining protests against a network of razor-wire fences and concrete barricades, which cut into occupied Palestinian land, troops have encircled it.
“The protests have been getting more violent, and that is what we’re trying to stop”, an Israeli army spokeswoman said.
David Chater, Al Jazeera’s correspondent in the West Bank, said: “This village of 5,000 people is essentially being locked down under curfew, under a seige, as tight as anything that the Gaza Strip has experienced since last Friday.”
“Palestinians have been protesting for weeks now that their land has been taken by the separation barrier.”
The barrier was built to protect six Israeli settlements, explained David Chater.
“Since last Friday, 35 people had been injured from rubber bullets and 100 from tear gas fired at the villages directly into their houses and the local medical centre has been running out of supplies”, he said.
Jamal Gomaa, director of Stop the Wall organisation, told Al Jazeera that the Palestinian people were merely trying to protect their land, but had been met with severe force.
“The soldiers have been coming for days, claiming that they want to let bulldozers do their work. What do they expect the Palestinian people to do? They have the legitimate right to defend themselves and their land.”
“Israel should stop hiding behind what they call ‘security’. What they are doing is ghettoising the Palestinian people, separating the people and their land.”
Hundreds of Palestinians attacked security forces, pelting them with rocks and rolled burning tyres at them, injuring a border policeman, said the Israeli spokeswoman. She also denied that that the closure was affecting the movement of sick Palestinians.
But Salah al-Khawaja, a spokesman for the Ni’lin Committee for Resisting the Wall, said that “casualties and other patients were prevented from leaving the village for treatment”.
Israel’s blockade involved declaring the construction site a “closed military zone”, a sweeping measure that did not appear to provide access to the area for any peaceful demonstrators.
The aim of the barrier is to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers, though it also loops around Jewish settlement blocs, which cut off some West Bank villages from their farmland.
Protesters hurt during a march
Those construction sites are flashpoints for confrontations between Israeli security forces and Palestinians, often supported by left-wing protesters from Israel and abroad.
The closure was imposed on Friday, that also saw a march against the barrier during which at least 20 protesters were hurt by rubber bullets, fired by Israeli security forces, Ni’lin residents said.
Anyone who went onto the streets was threatened by Israeli soldiers, with live bullets, said Jamal Gomaa.
On Saturday, in defiance of the closure, a demonstration was held by Ni’lin youths, who blockaded roads used by bulldozers to access the construction site, residents said.
An organiser said that during the demonstration, four protesters from an Israeli solidarity group were arrested.
The closure would be reviewed by Tuesday, said Israel Radio.
“The case of Ni’lin is a unique case of resistance” said Jamal Gomaa.
“The people go to protect their land at every minute of the day, and it’s something the Israelis don’t want. They don’t want this kind of resistance to spread to other villages.”