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Protesters hurt in West Bank protests

March 16, 2012 8:09 P.M. (Updated: March 17, 2012 10:32 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- At least eight Palestinians and an Israeli activist were injured on Friday during demonstrations in the West Bank, witnesses and activists said.

Israeli activist Naomi Laet, 22, suffered head injuries in Nabi Saleh after being hit by a rubber bullet fired by Israeli soldiers, a statement from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.

Israeli forces had earlier entered the village and sprayed protesters with a foul smelling liquid using water cannons. Eight Palestinians were reported injured in the village.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said 40 people gathered there and hurled rocks at army forces, and the army used riot dispersal means. Failing to disperse the crowd, Israeli forces fired rubber bullets, she said.

Witnesses told Ma'an that Israeli forces refused to allow medical crews to reach the injured, holding medics at the entrance to Nabi Saleh.

Three people were also reported injured in a demonstration in the Nablus village of Kafr Qaddum, a Popular Struggle Coordination Committee statement said.

The weekly protest was dedicated to the memory of Rachel Corrie, an American protester who was killed in Gaza nine years ago after being run over by an Israeli bulldozer.

Two demonstrators were injured when Israeli forces fired tear gas projectiles at them. One was hit in the leg and one in the shoulder.

Border police also released a dog which chased after protesters and locked its jaws on Ahmad Shtawi. The incident was caught on tape by Ma'an affiliate Nablus TV.

Shtawi was subsequently arrested, the activists said.

According to the Israeli army, there were 100 Palestinians who gathered there "in a violent and illegal riot". Palestinians hurled rocks and burning tires at the forces, who responded by using riot dispersal means, she said.

"During the riots two Palestinians that hurled rocks at Israeli forces were arrested, one was for physically assaulting a soldier. During his arrest he was slightly injured by a dog, and was treated on scene".

"He didn't need to be evacuated," the spokeswoman said, noting the dog was used for the arrest.

In al-Masara, near Bethlehem, Israeli forces broke a photographer's camera. That attack against journalist Moussa Al-Shaer was also caught on tape circulated by activists.

The demonstration was supporting Shalabi, the hunger striker, a statement from the local popular committee said. The committee reported that 10 internationals were held up for several hours.

Muhammad Breijyeh, a spokesman of the committee, said the activity was part of Israel Apartheid Week.

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