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Palestinians clash with Israeli troops across the West Bank

Feb. 22, 2013 5:27 A.M. (Updated: Feb. 24, 2013 10:36 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Clashes erupted across the West Bank after the Friday prayers between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters who rallied to show solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.

Dozens were hurt as Israeli soldiers fired tear gas heavily to disperse the protesters.

Similarly, worshipers in Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem demonstrated in the compound after the Friday prayer before Israeli troops broke into the squares and clashed with the protesters.

According to Israeli radio station Reshet Bet, Israeli soldiers fired stun grenades to disperse the worshipers. The report highlighted that demonstrations started near the Moroccan Gate through which the soldiers stormed the compound and started to chase protesters.

In Ramallah in the central West Bank, 12 young men were hurt by tear gas and rubber-coated bullets during clashes with Israeli troops after the Friday prayers. Locals told Ma’an that the soldiers detained one Palestinian. The sources highlighted that the Friday prayer was performed near the main gate of Ofer detention center west of Ramallah.

They said about 100 Palestinians preformed Friday prayers near Ofer before Israeli soldiers showered them with tear gas as soon as they finished prayer.

As a result young men started to hurl stones at the soldiers and police officers. A Ma’an reporter said the soldiers directed their tear gas to journalists who gathered in the area to report about the event. He added that the soldiers fired live ammunition at a car for journalists, but nobody was hurt.

Further clashes took place in al-Arrub and al-Fawwar refugee camps in Hebron district.

Witnesses said young Palestinian men in al-Arrub camp north of Hebron pelted Israeli soldiers with stones. Clashes erupted first at the main entrance to the camp on the main road between Hebron and Bethlehem. Then the clashes extended to camp’s alleys resulting in more victims of tear gas as some canisters fell inside houses.

One owner of these houses was identified as Nayif Nimir al-Badawi. Four people were hurt by tear gas. Three others were hurt in house of Khamis Awad al-Badawi.

Israeli forces shut down the main entrance to al-Fawwar camp north of Hebron after young men hurled stones at Israeli soldiers. The soldiers responded with tear gas before they closed the main entrance to traffic.

In Tulkarem in the northern West Bank young Palestinians clashed with Israeli troops in the western part of the city. Soldiers fired tear gas as the young protesters pelted them with stones. The clashes erupted after hundreds of young men rallied after the Friday prayer chanting slogans against Israel's treatment to Palestinian prisoners.

The northern West Bank city of Jenin also witnessed confrontations between young Palestinians and Israeli soldiers after the Friday prayer. Nine Palestinians were detained during the clashes and dozens were hurt by tear gas and rubber-coated bullets.

Jenin's clashes started after young men marched from mosques toward al-Jalama checkpoint expressing solidarity with hunger striking Palestinian prisoners. A Ma'an reporter said Israeli forces fired hundreds of tear gas canisters at the protesters in addition to rubber-coated bullets and foul smelling liquids.

Local and security sources told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers detained nine young men. The sources identified one detainee as 14-year-old Amir Majid Irqawi. They said the soldiers assaulted him beating him brutally before he was detained.
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