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Israeli forces injure 5 Palestinians in weekly Gaza protests

April 23, 2016 10:37 A.M. (Updated: April 23, 2016 4:51 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma'an) -- Five Palestinians were injured when clashes broke out across the Gaza Strip on Friday night after Israeli forces attempted to suppress weekly protests, Gaza’s Ministry of Health said.

One Palestinian was injured with live fire, and two suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation near the Nahal Oz crossing in the northeastern Gaza Strip.

Near the Erez crossing in the northern Gaza Strip, two Palestinians suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces attempted to suppress a protest there.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they did not have information on clashes in the Gaza Strip Friday evening.

Also on Friday, a Palestinian teenager was wounded by a rubber-coated steel bullet and dozens others suffered excessive tear gas inhalation when Israeli forces dispersed weekly protests across the occupied West Bank.

The clashes came amidst tightened security measures implemented by the Israeli authorities for the Jewish holiday of Passover. All crossings in the Gaza Strip and occupied West Bank were closed to Palestinians beginning midnight Thursday, in effect until midnight Saturday.

Palestinians in the Gaza Strip crowd near the borders with Israel every Friday to show solidarity with what Palestinians in besieged coastal enclave have termed the “Jerusalem Intifada” taking place in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Nearly 30 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip since the unrest spread in October, the majority shot dead during clashes on the Gaza-Israel border.

More than 1,300 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of this year, the majority during clashes that broke out with the Israeli military during protests in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

Earlier this month, the US accused Israel of an "excessive use of force" against Palestinians, amounting to a violation of human rights, in its annual report of global human rights abuses.

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