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3 Palestinians injured during demonstration in support of hunger strikers

April 23, 2017 3:59 P.M. (Updated: April 23, 2017 9:54 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Three Palestinians were lightly injured after being shot by Israeli forces with rubber-coated steel bullets during a small march in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Sunday, as demonstrations continued in solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prison.

The march set off from a sit-in tent installed at Yasser Arafat Square in central Ramallah, and headed towards the Israeli Beit El military checkpoint.

Participants of the march attempted to reach the road that leads the illegal Beit El settlement, but Israeli forces prevented them by force and fired sound bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets, with three Palestinians sustaining minor gunshot injuries, locals said.

Israeli forces also fired tear gas, but due to the direction of the wind, the gas was sent back over the Israeli soldiers.

A video captured at the scene showed a group of five young Palestinians throwing stones, presumably in the direction of Israeli soldiers.

Despite the small number of Palestinians participating in the march, a large deployment of reinforcement forces surrounded the demonstrators from three different positions.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports.
Later on Sunday, hundreds of Palestinians marched in the northern occupied West Bank city of Nablus, at a rally attended by mayor of Nablus Akram Rujoub, a number of other political figures, along with 3,500 scouts from different schools in Nablus.

The march set off from the Nablus municipality building and headed to al-Shuhada square in central Nablus, where participants held signs and shouted slogans condemning Israeli crimes and demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners.

“Today we send a message to our prisoners that we are with you and you are not alone,” said Muthaffar Thawqan, the coordinator of the national committee established to support hunger striking prisoners.

Meanwhile, demonstrations in solidarity with the Palestinian hunger strikers were reported to have taken place over the weekend in the United Kingdom, Ireland Sweden, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, Italy, Canada, and Lebanon, Palestinian prisoner solidarity network Samidoun reported.

Demonstrations have been a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank, as well as in Israel and abroad, since some 1,500 Palestinians started an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli prisons last week.

The Fatah movement has meanwhile pronounced Friday, April 28 to be a “day of rage,” and called on all Palestinians to "clash" with Israeli forces in support of the hunger strike. A general strike in the West Bank was also scheduled for Thursday, April 27.
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