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Clashes erupt across West Bank for 17th day

Oct. 18, 2015 2:51 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 18, 2015 10:52 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forcessuppressedmarches across the occupied West Bank on Sunday, as clashes continued for the 17th consecutive day.

In Hebron, Israeli forces suppressed a march held by Palestinian students from Hebron's Polytechnic University near the illegal Israeli settlement of Beit Hijai in the southern occupied West Bank, locals said.

Israeli forces shot tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at protesters, who responded by launching stones at Israeli forces.

One of the students suffered from severe tear gas inhalation and was transferred to a local hospital, the Red Crescent said.

In Tulkarem, Israeli forces shot tear gas and stun grenades at Palestinian students from al-Khadouri University in the northern occupied West Bank, after clashes broke out during an anti-occupation protest at the university.

In Bethlehem Israeli forces hit a 15-year-old Palestinian in the head with a tear gas grenade in Dar Salah village in east Bethlehem during clashes in the area.

Medical sources said that the teen sustained a moderate injury and was transferred to a hospital for treatment.

The teen sustained the injury after the students of Dar Salah school participated in a march protesting the Israeli violation against the Palestinians and al-Aqsa mosque.

'Excessive use of force'

Nearly 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the month, half of which were shot and killed during protests, while Palestinians have been responsible for the death of seven Israeli during the same time period.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the second week of October saw the highest number of Palestinian deaths and injuries in the West Bank and Israel recorded in a single week since 2005.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said last week that "the high number of casualties, in particular those resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces, raises concerns of excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person."

While the Israeli leadership attributes the escalation in violence to Palestinian incitement, most Palestinians have pointed to the decades-long Israeli military occupation as the root cause of recent events.

United States Secretary of State John Kerry reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu earlier this week that the Israelis "have a right to protect themselves against violence towards civilians, in Jerusalem's Old City and anywhere else."

US president Barack Obama on Friday evening also voiced support for Israel's recent actions, saying that it had a right to "protect its citizens."

The Palestinian envoy to the UN last week requested that the UN deploy special security forces to occupied East Jerusalem to help quell violence, but Israel's ambassador to the UN Danny Danon said on Friday that Israel objects to international oversight in the area.
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