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8 Palestinians injured in Gaza solidarity march in Bethlehem

Aug. 15, 2014 2:43 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 17, 2014 12:21 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Eight Palestinians were injured on Friday during clashes with Israeli soldiers in northern Bethlehem, locals said.

Clashes broke out as Israeli soldiers dispersed a march of more than 150 Palestinians in solidarity with Gaza heading to an Israeli military watchtower near Rachel's Tomb.

Soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas canisters and stun grenades at youths, injuring an unidentified man in the hand.

Eight people were injured by the rubber-coated steel bullets, seven of whom were treated at the scene. One individual, who was hit in the head, was taken to Beit Jala Governmental Hospital for treatment.

20 others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during the clashes.

Israeli forces also sprayed foul-smelling water toward protesters as well as local buildings, hitting the nearby Intercontinental Hotel directly.

Late Thursday, locals told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers shot a 24-year-old man from the Abu Srur family in the foot before detaining him.

Clashes broke out in Aida refugee camp and along Hebron road and last for hours into the night as Israeli soldiers fired rubber-coated steel bullets, live ammunition and tear gas canisters.

The areas around Rachel's Tomb are a frequent site of clashes because the holy site is surrounded on three sides by the Israeli separation wall despite being in the middle of the Palestinian city of Bethlehem.

Israeli forces have killed 17 Palestinians in protests across the West Bank over the last five weeks as tens of thousands rallied in solidarity with the besieged Gaza Strip.

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