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Israeli settlers open fire on Palestinian protesters in al-Bireh

April 27, 2017 5:08 P.M. (Updated: April 27, 2017 6:00 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli settlers opened fire on Palestinians taking part in a popular solidarity march in the central occupied West Bank city of al-Bireh on Thursday, according to locals.

Dozens of Palestinians were marching through the streets of al-Bireh in support of the estimated 1,500 hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who entered the 11th day of their strike on Thursday, when Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Pesagot settlement -- built on the lands of al-Bireh -- opened fire at the protesters.

Locals said that no injuries were reported among the protesters, and that youths responded by throwing rocks at Israeli settlers who stationed themselves behind cement blocks, using them as shields.

An Israeli police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.

Many Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.

Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with announcements of further settlement expansion sparking condemnation from the international community.

According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.
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