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Dozens suffer teargas inhalation at Bil'in anti-wall march

Nov. 21, 2008 3:47 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2008 3:47 P.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Dozens of Palestinian and international demonstrators choked on teargas at a Friday demonstration in the West Bank village of Bil'in, near Ramallah, as Israeli forces fired on the crowd, according to a statement received by Ma'an.

A Palestinian anti-wall organization reported that the rally had been generally peaceful as Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists waved Palestinian flags, banners and posters before the army attacked.

The group's report claimed that Israeli soldiers "showered [protesters] with rubber-coated metal bullets, injuring dozens" during the protest. Most reported injuries were due to teargas inhalation, the report added.

Marking World Children's Day, demonstrators reflected on Israel's "aggression and occupation" against and of Palestinian children, claiming that "hundreds of Palestinian kids" had been shot and killed by Israeli forces and that many more "are languishing in Israeli prisons."

Demonstrators called on Israel to release all detainees and stressed that its "racist wall" must be removed, along with settlements, roadblocks and checkpoints in the West Bank.

***Updated 20:15 Bethlehem time
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