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2 killed as tens of thousands protest Israeli assault across West Bank

July 25, 2014 11:07 P.M. (Updated: July 26, 2014 10:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were killed and dozens injured across the West Bank on Friday night as Israeli forces opened fire on thousands of demonstrators protesting in solidarity with the besieged Gaza Strip.

Thousands took part in rallies in Bethlehem, Tulkarem, Jenin, Nablus, Salfit, and dozens of other towns and villages across the West Bank that were called for by all Palestinian parties and factions.

The rallies come after a day of heavy protests across the West Bank, with six deaths as thousands took part in a "Day of Rage" following the largest protest since the Second Intifada on Thursday which brought more than 20,000 to a march at Qalandia checkpoint.

In Beit Fajjar near Bethlehem, Nasri Mahmoud Taqataqa, 16, was shot dead by Israeli forces during a protest in the village.

In Jenin, around 10,000 took part in a protest march that led to the Jalame checkpoint north of the city.

Bassem Safi Sadeq Abu Rob, of Qabatiya, was shot dead and thirty injured during clashes there, medical officials said.

Ali Zakarana, a PLO spokesman, said that among the 30 injured were a number with dangerous wounds in the eye and the chest that had been taken to hospitals in Nablus.

An Israeli military spokeswoman did not immediately return calls seeking comment on the deaths.

In Tulkarem, clashes broke out with Israeli soldiers at the Netanya checkpoint west of the city after thousands marched there, where forces opened fire with tear gas and stun grenades.

In Bethlehem around 3,000 took part in a march against the Israeli assault beginning at Manger Square and ending in the area of Rachel's Tomb, where the separation wall passes through the northern neighborhoods of the city.

At least two were injured and dozens suffered from excessive gas inhalation during the clashes, which broke out late Friday and continued into the early hours on Saturday.

Clashes also took place in the villages of al-Walaja and Tuqu near Bethlehem, where dozens of youths confronted Israeli forces.

Eight Palestinians were injured with live fire after Israeli forces dispersed thousands of demonstrators in solidarity with Gaza.

Eyewitnesses said that Israeli forces used silenced weapons to target demonstrators in the march.

Thousands also took part in a rally in Nablus launched from Beit Dajan, east of the city, as well as in Beit Furik, where clashes broke out at Bita checkpoint.

In Salfit, Shaher Riyan was injured after Israeli forces shot him in the foot during the second rally in the last two days in the villages, while dozens of other suffered from excessive tear inhalation.

11 were injured at the southern checkpoint of Qalqiliya after Israeli forces opened fire with live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas grenades.

Medics of the Red Crescent said that one demonstrator was shot in the thigh by Israeli forces and was taken to Nazzal Governmental Hospital.

Tens of thousands have taken part in protests held across the West Bank in the last two weeks as an Israeli assault on Gaza killed more than 850 people.

The attack has led to rising public anger against Israel as well as the Palestinian Authority, which many feel has not done enough to stop the killing.
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