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Israeli forces suppress weekly marches, injure 8

March 27, 2015 8:46 P.M. (Updated: March 29, 2015 1:56 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Eight Palestinian and foreign activists were injured and one child detained by Israeli forces during weekly marches across the West Bank on Friday, which also saw dozens suffer excessive tear gas inhalation.

Four Palestinians sustained injuries from rubber-coated steel bullets when Israeli forces suppressed the Kafr Qaddum weekly march east of Qalqilya.

The coordinator of a local popular committee in the village, Murad Ishteiwi, said that clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian youths when Israeli soldiers raided the village in three different areas, shooting live and rubber-coated bullets, tear-gas canisters and stun grenades.

The four injured Palestinians were identified as Nasser Barham, 42, who was hit in the stomach, Hakam Khaldun, 24, hit in the lower stomach, Maher Jumaa, 45, in the foot and Muhammad Abd al-Salam, 18, in the head.

Israeli bulldozers destroyed a main waterline feeding the village, cutting water off the town for several hours.

Meanwhile, another four activists, including three Palestinians and one from Iceland, were injured, and one child detained, during clashes with Israeli forces following the weekly march in Bilin village north of Ramallah.

Israeli forces fire tear-gas, stun grenades and rubber-coated steel bullets at participants in the protest as they neared the Israeli wall, before chasing them through nearby fields.

Popular resistance committee member Ratib Abu Rahma, 50, was shot in the back, while Ismail Mohammad Abu Rahma, 18, Ellan Shalif, 78, and one Icelandic activist, 27, were shot in their lower extremities. The Icelandic activist was taken to a Palestinian medical complex for treatment.

A Palestinian child, Mahmoud Khalid Abu Rahma, 12, was briefly detained by Israeli forces before being released after the clashes had ended.

Protesters raised Palestinian flags and marched through the village chanting songs for unity and resistance.

The protest marked the 39th Palestinian "Land Day," commemorating a general strike and marches that took place on Mar. 30, 1976 in protest over Israeli land seizures. Six unarmed Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces and hundreds injured during the protests that day.

In another protest northwest of Ramallah, in the village of Nilin, dozens of Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces violently dispersed the protesters.

A popular resistance committee member in the village, Muhammad Amireh, said Israeli forces used metal bullets and tear gas to disperse the protesters.

He added that they sparked a fire in one of the village fields, but it was afterwards contained by the civil defense.

It was also reported that dozens of Palestinian and foreign activists suffered excessive tear gas inhalation in clashes with Israeli forces during a "Jerusalem Gate" protest east of Abu Dis village, near Jerusalem.

A spokesman for the popular resistance committee, Hani Halabiyeh, said Israeli forces targeted people with tear gas and stun grenades.
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