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Israeli forces fire tear gas at hunger strike supporters in Nablus area, setting tent on fire

May 1, 2017 2:46 P.M. (Updated: May 2, 2017 10:38 A.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces raided the village of Sabastiya in the northern occupied West Bank on Sunday night, firing tear gas at Palestinians holding a sit-in in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners, causing the sit-in tent to catch fire.

Clashes erupted following the fire, locals told Ma’an, with Israeli soldiers firing more tear gas canisters in the area and damaging at least one vehicle parked in the area.

While a number of Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation, no serious injuries were reported among the demonstrators who had been at the sit-in tent.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.

The incident came mere days after a tear gas canister fired by Israeli forces ignited a fire in the market of the Nablus- area village of Beita during similar protests in solidarity with hunger strikers, burning down at least eight warehouses.

Initially called for by imprisoned senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouti, the Palestinian 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.

Israeli forces have used repressive measures against the hunger strikers, as well as against their supporters in the occupied West Bank, and East Jerusalem, where sit-in tents have sprouted to show solidarity with the hunger strikers, who entered their 15th day without food on Monday.
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