Eyewitnesses and medics confirmed that dozens of Palestinian protesters were hurt in clashes with Israeli soldiers on Friday in protest against Israeli settlements in the West Bank.
In a statement, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society stated that 217 protesters had been injured by Israeli soldiers. 35 were shot with rubber-coated metal bullets while 182 were subject to suffocation from inhaling tear gas.
Eyewitnesses reported that clashes broke out between Israeli soldiers and protestors in Beita and Beit Djan, near Nablus in the northern West Bank.
Clashes in Beita have been ongoing for nearly four months to protest the establishment of a settlement outpost on land owned by village residents. Protesters wave Palestinian flags, chant slogans against Israel and throw stones at soldiers who fired tear gas canisters and rubber bullets to disperse the crowd, they claimed.
According to Marzouq Abu Niem, the village’s head, medics reported that several Palestinian protesters were hurt by Israeli soldiers in clashes at al-Mughayyir. This was in protest against Israel’s settlement expansion.
Reporters were told by the village head that Israeli soldiers used tear gas and percussion blasts to disperse peaceful protestors who wanted the village’s entrance closed by sands.
According to Palestinian security sources, similar protests and clashes brokeout near Qalqilya in the West Bank. Several Palestinians were also injured by tear gas and rubber bullets.
The Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs condemned the Israeli army’s brutal suppression of peaceful protests.
The statement stated that the Israeli army’s actions against Palestinian protesters are in violation of international law. It also added that the silence of the international community encouraged Israel to continue these practices.
The Israeli side has not yet commented.