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Israeli forces injure 8 Palestinians in new West Bank protests

Oct. 5, 2015 2:30 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 5, 2015 5:37 P.M.)
An Israeli border guard fires a tear gas canister during clashes with Palestinians at the main entrance to Bethlehem on September 21, 2015. (AFP/Musa Al-Shaer/File)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured at least eight Palestinians with rubber-coated steel bullets on Monday in demonstrations across the occupied West Bank, witnesses said.

In Ramallah, Israeli soldiers opened fire on Palestinian protesters, largely comprised of students, who were marching on the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit El.

The demonstrators set off from the city center of Ramallah and chanted slogans demanding international protection for Palestinians.

Israeli forces reportedly shot at least five with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Meanwhile, three Palestinian were injured during clashes at the Atara checkpoint north of Ramallah as Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live rounds at demonstrators.

Palestinian youths threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at Israeli military forces.

In Nablus, Israeli forces raided the homes of Thahir Mahmoud Odah, Mazin Mahmoud Odah, Ashraf Ahmad Khalil Odah, and Adnan abu Haniya in Huwwara, although no arrests were reported.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said she was looking into the reports.

The clashes follow violent confrontations over the weekend in which the Palestinian Red Crescent documented at least 96 Palestinians who were wounded by live rounds or rubber-coated steel bullets in clashes with Israeli forces and settlers.

On Sunday, the Palestinian Red Crescent declared a state of emergency across the occupied Palestinian territory following an upsurge in violence by Israeli soldiers and settlers, including 14 attacks on its own ambulance crews.

Tensions had been steadily mounting in recent weeks due to Israeli restrictions on Palestinians seeking to enter the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem.

A string of deadly attacks on Israelis, including a shooting that left two settlers dead in the West Bank on Thursday, and a stabbing in Jerusalem that claimed two Israelis' lives on Saturday, have prompted further clashes.
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