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8 Palestinians injured as Israeli forces open fire on Qalandia march

Oct. 31, 2014 1:51 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2014 7:01 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Eight Palestinians were injured on Friday after Israeli forces opened fire on demonstrators during clashes following Friday prayers near the Qalandia checkpoint north of Jerusalem.

Several Palestinians were also injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and dozens suffered from suffocation from inhaling tear gas as Israeli soldiers fired large number of tear-gas grenades at the crowds.

The march of hundreds to the flashpoint military checkpoint on the road between Ramallah and Jerusalem came as part of a Day of Rage across the West Bank in protest against Israeli authorities' killing of a man early Thursday and the day-long closure of the Al-Aqsa mosque -- the third holiest site in Islam -- for the first time since 1967.

Following Friday noon prayers, hundreds of Palestinians marched towards the Qalandia military checkpoint. Soldiers deployed heavily, firing tear-gas bombs and stun grenades towards Palestinian youths who responded with rocks and Molotov cocktails.

Medical sources at the Palestine Medical Center in Ramallah named one of the victims as Youssef Muhammad al-Khatib, 26, who was critically injured with four bullets across his body.

Fatah and Hamas groups in the Qalandia refugee camp had called for a march after Friday prayers in the camp.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that around 400 Palestinians were taking part in a "riot .. hurling rocks, molotov cocktails, and burning tires."

She said she was aware of a number of injuries but that these had been caused by border police, not the military.
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