JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli security forces fired rubber bullets, tear gas and stun grenades to break up small groups of Palestinian stone-throwers on Friday as annual Land Day rallies turned violent around Jerusalem.Hamas gets the Israeli message that it will be responsible for any deaths during the protests, beats up Gaza protesters, prevents them from reaching Israel's border.
Medics in the Gaza Strip said the Israeli army also used live fire to prevent protesters from approaching frontier barriers in the small coastal territory, wounding nine people, including one seriously.
Palestinian activists called for a "Global March to Jerusalem" to mark the day when Israeli Arabs protest against land confiscation, and although there were many rallies, Israeli police said crowd numbers were relatively small.
"We are dealing with a number of disturbances, but in general the situation around the country has been relatively quiet," said police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld.
Israeli forces were put on high alert on the frontiers with Lebanon and Syria, but there were no reports of anyone nearing the border fences, unlike last year when several demonstrators were killed in separate protests.
Members of the Hamas security forces prevent Palestinian protesters from reaching the border between Israel and the northern Gaza Strip, after a protest marking Land Day in Beit Hanun, on March 30, 2012. [...] (Getty Images)