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Israeli forces injure 3 Palestinians in protest near Ofer prison

June 4, 2014 8:39 P.M. (Updated: June 8, 2014 12:05 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces as they broke up a protest in the central West Bank on Wednesday.

Protesters marched near the Ofer detention center west of Ramallah in solidarity with hundreds of Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in protest against their detention without trial by Israeli forces.

Clashes broke out after Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protest, and three were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Dozens also suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation.

The incident occurred at the same site where Israeli forces shot dead two Palestinian teenage boys in mid-May during a similar protest near the prison.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not return calls seeking comment.

More than a hundred Palestinian prisoners have been on hunger strike since April 24 in protest against their "administrative detention" by Israel, and hundreds more have joined them since the strike began.

The original 100 hunger strikers have all been hospitalized in the last week, and thousands have attended solidarity protests with them across the West Bank and Gaza Strip under the banner of "Water and Salt," a reference to the daily diet of the hunger strikers.

Palestinians held in administrative detention are often held without charge or trial for months and without access to the evidence leading to their detention, even though international law stipulates this tactic only be used in exceptional circumstances.

Palestinian prisoner human rights organization Addameer estimates that around 183 Palestinians are currently being held in administrative detention.

Over 800,000 Palestinians have been detained since 1967, with 5,224 currently being held in Israeli prisons, according to the PLO.
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