RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- At least five Palestinians were injured with live fire, while seven others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets by Israeli forces on Friday during what started out as a peaceful anti-settlement demonstration in the eastern Ramallah district of the central occupied West Bank.
The clashes took place near the villages of Kafr Malik and al-Mughayyar, where residents of the villages were protesting the construction of an illegal Israeli settlement on the lands of the two villages.
In addition to those injured by live fire and rubber bullets, dozens others suffered from severe tear gas inhalation. Among those who suffered from severe tear gas inhalation were multiple journalists, including AP photographer Nasser al-Shuyukhi, who fainted as a result.
The march set off towards the lands threatened with confiscation, where Israeli settlers have set up an illegal outpost in anticipation of a new settlement. While Israeli forces fired at protesters, local youth threw stones at the armed soldiers.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "earlier today a violent riot took place with more than 500 rioters lighting tires and throwing rocks at Israeli forces. Forces used riot dispersal methods in response to the direct threat against their lives."
Israeli forces have come under heavy criticism from right groups for using dangerous and lethal methods of crowd dispersal in situations where protesters could have been subdued without the use of live ammunition.