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Clashes at protests across West Bank

Nov. 15, 2012 7:11 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 16, 2012 4:03 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli forces as demonstrations were held across the West Bank to support Gaza on Thursday, witnesses and officials said.

Nine women were detained on Thursday evening after they climbed the walls of Israel's Beit El settlement near Ramallah. The protesters carried banners and draped the Palestinian flag across the wall. A number of protesters escaped arrest, witnesses said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said a number of people were arrested for trying to "infiltrate a military base," but she could not confirm the number of detentions.

The rally was held in support of Palestinians in Gaza, after Israeli forces killed 15 Palestinians in the coastal strip over 24 hours. Three Israelis died on Thursday morning after militants returned rocket fire.

Protesters clashed with soldiers in nearby Ofer military base outside Ramallah at noon on Thursday, witnesses said. Three protesters were injured including PA police officer Mohammad al-Sheikh, who sustained two bullet wounds to his leg. An Israeli military spokeswoman was looking into the incident.

Meanwhile, dozens of Palestinians held a sit-in at Manara square in central Ramallah to condemn Israel's actions in Gaza.

The crowd, addressed by Palestinian political leaders, chanted slogans against Israeli aggression and called for the international community to intervene.

7 injured in Bethlehem

In Bethlehem, six men were injured in clashes with Israeli forces near Aida camp. They were evacuated to local hospitals in a moderate condition.

A Ma’an correspondent said Israeli forces used live fire, rubber bullets, sound grenades and tear gas bombs against the protesters, who had gathered to condemn the Israeli attacks on Gaza.

Nearby, crowds gathered in al-Khader village to condemn the Israeli military operation on Gaza. Israeli forces used bullets, tear gas and sound grenades to disperse the crowds, moderately injuring one Palestinian man, a Ma'an correspondent said.

An Israeli police spokesman was looking into the incidents in Bethlehem.

In Jerusalem, protesters closed the entrances of the Palestinian neighborhood of Issawiya. The police spokesman said forces dispersed crowds and reopened stone road blocks.

The Wadi Hilweh information center said undercover Israeli forces detained six people, including three children. Ahmad Mhaisin, 19, his 26-year-old brother Ammar and Thaer Obaid, 24, were also detained, the center said.

At the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, crowds held rival demonstrations in support of and against the military operation. No clashes were reported.
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