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Israeli forces shoot, injure 3 Palestinians during Gaza clashes

June 2, 2017 9:31 P.M. (Updated: June 3, 2017 10:26 A.M.)
QALQILIYA (Ma’an) -- At least three Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces during weekly protests in the occupied Palestinian territory on Friday, while dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation, local sources said.

Israeli forces reportedly shot two Palestinians with live bullets during clashes east of Khan Yunis in the southern besieged Gaza Strip, who were transferred to the Nasser hospital for treatment, where their conditions were described as moderate.

In the central Gaza Strip, clashes erupted east of al-Bureij refugee camp, during which Israeli forces shot a Palestinian man in the foot with a live bullet. The man, who was reported to be in his thirties, was transferred to Shuhada al-Aqsa hospital in Deir Balah for medical care.

Israeli forces stationed at the Nahal Oz military post across the border from the Gaza City neighborhood of Shujaaiya also fired tear gas at Palestinian ambulances, causing seven medics to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that a number of “violent riots” took place across the Gaza Strip on Friday, with protesters attempting to damage the border fence between the blockaded territory and Israel.

The spokesperson added that Israeli soldiers “fired warning shots into the air,” before aiming at the “main perpetrators,” adding that they were aware that “a few” Palestinians had been hit with live bullets.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces suppressed a weekly march in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern occupied West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday, which was commemorating the 50th anniversary of the “Naksa,” or setback, when Israel illegally annexed East Jerusalem, the West Bank, and Gaza.

Kafr Qaddum popular resistance committee coordinator Murad Shteiwi said that large numbers of Israeli soldiers fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at the Palestinian demonstrators, who responded by throwing rocks and setting tires on fire.

Shteiwi added that there were no reported injuries or detentions in Kafr Qaddum.

The army spokesperson said they were looking into the reports.

Israeli forces are often condemned for their use of excessive force against unarmed Palestinian protesters, who are routinely met with live ammunition and “crowd control weapons” during protests and clashes. According to UN documentation, 3,393 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in 2016, while 781 injuries have been reported thus far in 2017.
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