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Palestinians, Israeli troops clash near Ramallah

April 13, 2013 9:57 A.M. (Updated: April 14, 2013 3:19 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) – Five young Palestinian men were hurt Friday in clashes with Israeli troops in the central West Bank town of Silwad near Ramallah.

A Ma’an reporter said fierce clashes erupted as Israeli forces tried to prevent hundreds of worshippers from performing Friday prayer in the open in private Palestinian lands slated for annexation to the nearby Israeli settlement of Ofra.

Despite the presence of Israeli troops, more than 250 worshippers managed to access the agricultural lands and perform Friday prayer. However, after the prayer the soldiers showered the worshippers with tear gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated bullets. Young worshippers responded by hurling stones and empty bottles at the Israeli soldiers who chased them across the town’s alleys.

On Thursday, a group of Israeli settlers assaulted a resident of Silwad who sustained bruises and was hospitalized. In response, residents set fire to movable settler houses in a nearby outpost.

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