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Israeli gas canister sparks fire in Nablus-area village, causing severe damage

April 28, 2017 9:15 P.M. (Updated: April 29, 2017 11:47 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- A tear gas canister shot by Israeli forces amid clashes in Beita village in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Friday ignited a fire in a market in the village and burned down more than eight warehouses.

Locals told Ma’an that the fire was caused by tear gas canisters shot by Israeli forces at a warehouse that contained plastic and cardboard objects.

Within a few minutes the fire was ignited in the warehouse, locals said, and later spread to more than eight other warehouses, causing all of them to burn down.
The Palestinian fire department and the Nablus municipality rushed to the scene and were able to control the situation after two hours of attempting to tame the flames.

One local merchant told Ma’an that the damages caused by the fire were estimated to be worth millions of shekels.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on the incident.
Clashes erupted at the Beita crossroads south of Nablus city following Friday prayers, in which hundreds of Palestinian worshipers took part in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners.

Israeli forces fired dozens of tear-gas bombs and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians while youths threw rocks at armed forces.

More than ten Palestinians suffered from severe tear-gas inhalation while one youth was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to witnesses. The Palestinian Red Crescent, meanwhile, said in a statement that 20 Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Among those who suffered tear-gas inhalation was a father of three prisoners, Hajj Ihsan Adili Abu Waddah. Secretary of the Fatah movement in Nablus Jihad Ramadan was also injured with a stun grenade in the leg.
Clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians across the Palestinian territory on Friday for a “Day of Rage” announced by the Fatah movement to support Palestinians currently on a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons, while solidarity sit-ins were held in the West Bank, East Jerusalem, Israel, and South America.

On Thursday, a general strike was held in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, in solidarity with the hunger strikers. While almost all shops had closed in support of the mass hunger strike, several Palestinians told Ma’an that shops had received direct orders from the Palestinian Authority (PA) to close.

Initially called for by Fatah-affiliated prisoners, the hunger strikers have denounced the torture, ill treatment, and medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners at the hands of Israeli authorities, as well as Israel’s widespread use of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges -- which is only permitted under international law in extremely limited circumstances.
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