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Israeli forces suppress march for hunger-striking prisoners south of Nablus

May 7, 2017 10:05 A.M. (Updated: May 8, 2017 7:50 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces suppressed a march Saturday evening that was staged in support of a mass hunger strike underway in Israeli prisons. One Palestinian was shot and injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet and eight others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Around 200 Palestinians marched from a sit-in tent in the village of Beita towards the main junction, where clashes erupted with Israeli forces that lasted for about two hours.

Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas at Palestinian protesters who responded by throwing rocks and empty bottles.

The Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus said it provided medical care to eight Palestinians who suffocated from tear gas, and to the protester who was shot.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports of the clashes.

Palestinian leaders declared a “week of rage” on Saturday, in response to reports that Israeli authorities have been explored the option of importing foreign doctors into Israel to force feed hunger-striking prisoners, as Israeli doctors have aligned themselves with international medical ethics and have so far refused to impose force feeding against hunger-striking prisoners, despite a recent Israeli Supreme Court decision that decided the practice was constitutional.

The hunger strikers entered their 21st day without food on Sunday, in protest of 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.

Since the strike began, solidarity demonstrations have been a daily occurrence in the occupied Palestinian territory, Israel, and abroad. Scores of Palestinians were injured by Israeli army crowd control methods after protests erupted into clashes across the West Bank on Friday.
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