Ramadan is only a day and a half away, soon the call to prayer from the mosques across the Muslim world will announce its beginning in the wee hours of the morning long before the sun peaks over the horizon. Today is a different day of observance though, today in the West Bank and Gaza is Nakba Day which translates to 'Day of the Catastrophe'. Nakba commemorates the day that Israel declared its independence and displaced over 700,000 Palestinians.
The tension in the West Bank is thick and weighs down heavy on the shoulders and neck. Before the sun reaches its high point protesters are already preparing for the clashes that will be held throughout the Palestinian Territories. By noon giant columns of black smoke from the roadblocks are towing into the sky and on the outskirts of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement, Israeli soldiers are lining up on the hill and taking potshots at the protesters on the road below.
As the clashes break out, chaos ensues, as teargas, rubber bullets, live ammunition, and sound grenades rain down on the protesters who are armed with slings and rocks. The Israelis advance down from the settlement and continue firing upon protesters who take cover behind their makeshift roadblocks and continue to chant and shout.
Nakba day clashes take up most of the day. The temperture soars and so does the fever of the clashes before tapering off, only to start up with a fervor a short time later. The following images are from Nakba in Ramallah near the Israeli Settlement of Beit El.