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Israeli forces injure 4, detain 2 Palestinians after student march erupts into clashes in Ramallah

Nov. 10, 2016 6:28 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 12, 2016 10:47 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces Thursday injured four Palestinian teenagers with rubber-coated steel bullets, and detained two others, during clashes that erupted in eastern Beituniya city near Israel’s Ofer detention center in the occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

A student march commemorating the 12th anniversary of the death of late Palestinian President Yasser Arafat erupted into clashes with Israeli forces as the march headed to the Ofer detention center to support child prisoners held in Israeli detention centers.

Palestinian demonstrators threw rocks at Israeli soldiers, while Israeli military vehicles chased the protesters, injuring four, and detaining and assaulting two others.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on the incident.

The demonstration came just four days after 14-year-old Ahmad Manasra was sentenced to 12 years in Israeli prison, sparking international condemnation.

Manasra was convicted of attempted murder for carrying out a stabbing attack on Oct. 12, 2015 that left two Israelis seriously injured. In addition, the court imposed a fine on his family of 180,000 shekels ($47,187).

Following the announcement, tens of children in Gaza skipped school and demonstrated against the Israeli court sentencing.

The Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs said in a September report that at least 1,000 Palestinian minors between the ages of 11 and 18 had been detained by Israel since January, a number of whom reported being abused and tortured while in detention.

In August, the committee announced that Israeli forces had detained 560 children from occupied East Jerusalem since the beginning of 2016.

According to the committee, Israeli forces imprisoned 30 teenage Palestinians over the month of August, some as young as 13, and collected 65,000 shekels ($17,270) from their families as fines, with the majority of the detainees saying they were beaten and tortured during their detention, interrogation, and transported from one detention center to another.

According to prisoners’ rights groups Addameer, a total of 340 Palestinian minors are currently being incarcerated by Israel.

Meanwhile, earlier on Thursday, another Palestinian youth was injured with a live bullet during a student march commemorating Arafat's passing in Ramallah. Palestinian students marched towards the Atara checkpoint when witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired tear gas, sound bombs, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live bullets at the demonstrators.

The eyewitnesses added that the Palestinian youth was about 15 meters away from the checkpoint when Israeli soldiers fired at him with a live bullet.

They added that Israeli soldiers dragged the injured youth over a long distance before putting him inside an Israeli military vehicle without providing him with medical care.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters.
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