JERUSALEM (AP) -- Large-scale protests swept the West Bank and Gaza Strip on Friday, with thousands of Palestinians hurling stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded by firing live rounds and rubber bullets. A Palestinian man was killed and dozens were injured.
Demonstrators burned Israeli and U.S. flags, as well as effigies of Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, in their weekly "Day of Rage."
In Israel's Arab communities, thousands took to the streets peacefully to mark "Land Day," a symbol of Israel's 1.2-million-strong Arab community's struggle for equality. Land Day is the annual commemoration of 1976 protests against land expropriation in which six Israeli Arabs were killed by police.
Friday's protests capped a violent week of suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks that killed three Israelis and eight Palestinians. In response to the flare-up, Sharon and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat both said the violent confrontation was likely to continue for some time.
In the West Bank town of Ramallah, Israeli troops fired live rounds and rubber bullets at Palestinian stone-throwers, killing a 21-year-old man and wounding seven others, including a teen-age girl.
In the Gaza Strip, 30 gunmen from Arafat's Fatah group led a large march, firing in the air and chanting "Sharon, wait, Fatah is going to open your grave in Gaza."
Mohammed Musallam, carrying a Kalashnikov assault rifle, said attacks against Israel would continue. "If Sharon thinks for a second to reoccupy the Palestinian areas, he should prepare black bags for the remains of his soldiers," Musallam said.
Musallam was responding to warnings by Israel's defense minister, Binyamin Ben-Eliezer, that Israeli soldiers would enter Palestinian-controlled areas if necessary.
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