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Protester critical after West Bank demonstration

May 21, 2010 5:53 P.M. (Updated: May 22, 2010 4:40 P.M.)
Ramallah – Ma'an – One protester was critically injured, witnesses in Al-Ma'asara said, after Israeli forces shot tear-gas canisters and sound bombs at a non-violent rally south of Bethlehem on Friday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said forces stepped in to disperse a the rally when it became violent, saying two were detained for "participating in an illegal violent riot," which she said was broken up by riot dispersal methods.

Two others were injured in the rally, both hospitalized according to witnesses, with 23 year old Mahmoud Zawareh released shortly after he was admitted, while 23 year old Hasen Brejieyah was transferred to a Hebron hospital in critical condition, a family member said.

One protester, who witnessed Israeli forces detaining Iyad and Mahmoud Zawahreh, confirmed to Ma'an that neither young man had thrown rocks, and described the entire protest as "peaceful."

Hamas lawmaker and former Speaker for the Palestinian Legislative Council Aziz Dweik joined in the demonstration.

The Israeli military spokeswoman said two detained were transferred to Israeli police custody for questioning.


Popular resistance protests continued across the West Bank on Friday, with Bil'in events seeing three international solidarity activists detained and one boy injured.

Carrying banners calling for the continuation of a boycott on settlement goods, protesters from Bil'in marched toward Israel's separation wall, demanded it be moved and relocated on the pre-1967 border.

The protesters called for an end to Israeli land confiscation, and attempted to enter village-owned lands on the far side of the wall, but were met with tear-gas and sound bombs, organizers said.

A local boy who suffers from developmental disabilities, 14 year old Tareq Adnan Abu Rahma, was hit in the foot by a tear-gas canister.

Those detained were identified as Tal Sahpira, 26, Hamotal Artua, 32, and a 62 year old journalist known only as Portman.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said three individuals described as "rioters" were detained, and transferred to the custody of Israeli police.

A police spokesman said he would look into the charges laid against the internationals.


Demonstrators calling for a halt to land confiscations carried banners in support of the PA-supported ban on settlement goods as they marched toward Israel's separation wall, which cuts off land from the village of Ni'lin.

Protesters reached the gate and padlocked it, in the hopes that soldiers would not be able to enter the area and chase away the demonstrators.

Organizers said soldiers responded by firing tear-gas canisters into the crowd. Because of the lock, witnesses said, soldiers were unable to injure or detain protesters.

An-Nabi Salah

Israeli media said one soldier was injured in the protest against settlement expansions in the village of An-Nabi Salah. Reports said the man was hit in the face with a stone, suffered a chipped tooth and split lip, and was treated in the field.

Palestinian protesters were faced with tear-gas as they marched toward lands confiscated by nearby settlements.

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