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Clashes erupt during weekly Friday demos, child seriously injured

Feb. 12, 2016 7:25 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 13, 2016 12:14 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces throughout the occupied Palestinian territory during this week's Friday demonstrations, leaving several wounded, including a child who was seriously injured.

At least three Palestinians were injured after clashes broke out between Israeli forces and dozens of youths east of al-Bureij refugee camp in central Gaza Strip, Spokesman for the Gaza Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qidra said.

Al-Qidra said two were injured by live fire in al-Bureij, and a third was in serious condition after being hit in the face by a tear gas cannister.

Clashes also took place near the Beit Hanoun crossing in the north, and east of al-Shujaiyya neighborhood of Gaza City, where at least one person was injured by live ammunition.

Meanwhile in the occupied West Bank, locals from the Ramallah-area Nilin village told Ma’an that four activists were injured and dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation as Israeli forces dispersed a demonstration in support of hunger-striker Muhammad al-Qiq with rubber-coated steel bullets and gas.

Medical sources told Ma’an that a Palestinian child was seriously injured after being shot with rubber-coated steel bullet during Nilin clashes.

The child was taken in serious condition to Palestine Medical complex and was undergoing operation, sources added.

In nearby Bilin, Israeli forces reportedly chased down protesters near the separation wall, firing rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, and tear gas.

Two Palestinian journalists were detained for several hours during the weekly protest in the Qalqiliya-area village of Kafr Qaddum. Spokesman for the popular resistance committee in the village, Murad Shtewei, identified the two as Ayman Noubani and Muhammad Turabi.

Shtewei told Ma’an that Israeli forces accompanied by bulldozers, and a water cannon-equipped vehicles raided the village, firing tear gas and stun grenades.

Journalists reported being targeted with tear gas by Israeli military forces when clashes broke out between soldiers and Palestinian youth during a demonstration at the Ofer detention center, also in the Ramallah area.

An Israeli army spokesperson did not have immediate information on Friday's clashes.

Palestinians living under Israeli military occupation have staged weekly Friday demonstrations for over ten years, and frequently face violent forms of crowd control from Israeli soldiers.

Nearly 600 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces last month, the majority during clashes that erupted during demonstrations, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The Palestinian ambassador to the UN, Riyad Mansour, in a statement released earlier this week said: “The criminal actions by the Israeli occupying forces and settlers has markedly intensified, no doubt bolstered by the culture of impunity and lawlessness that continues to prevail due to the failure to hold Israel accountable for any of its violations and crimes against the Palestinian people.”
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