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Israeli forces injure tens of Palestinians during Al-Aqsa clashes across West Bank

July 28, 2017 5:13 P.M. (Updated: July 29, 2017 4:25 P.M.)
Clashes in Hebron city in solidarity with Al-Aqsa protests
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- As frustrations continued to boil over on Friday after further Israeli restrictions were implemented on Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in occupied East Jerusalem, tens of Palestinians were injured after demonstrations held in solidarity with protests in Jerusalem erupted into violent clashes following dhuhr (noon) prayers in several areas of the occupied West Bank.

At least six Palestinians were wounded with Israeli-fired live ammunition, while four Palestinians were also detained by undercover Israeli soldiers disguised as Palestinians.

In the most violent cases in the Palestinian territory on Friday, Israeli forces injured two Palestinian protesters with live ammunition in the Jerusalem-area town of al-Ram, one of whom was reported in critical condition. Israeli forces also shot dead a Palestinian protester in the besieged Gaza Strip during clashes over Al-Aqsa, while at least seven other Palestinians were injured with live bullets.

What was hailed as a rare victory for Palestinians after thousands participated in a nearly two-week civil disobedience campaign and successfully demanded the removal of Israeli security measures at the holy site, was quickly transformed into violent clashes on Thursday when Israeli forces raided Al-Aqsa Mosque as thousands of Palestinians had entered the site for the first time since July 14.

Israeli authorities subsequently imposed new restrictions on the compound Friday morning, barring Palestinian men under the age of 50 from entering Al-Aqsa, the third holiest site in Islam.

In response to the clashes on Friday, an Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that hundreds of Palestinians had participated in “violent riots” across the West Bank. “Instigators are rolling burning tired and hurling firebombs and rocks at Israeli forces,” she said.

The spokesperson added that Israeli forces were using “crowd control means in order to disperse the riot.” The spokesperson added that she was “not aware” of any use of live ammunition among Israeli forces in the West Bank, despite several Palestinians being injured with live bullets.

4 Palestinians injured in Nablus district

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that four Palestinian youths were injured by sound bombs and tear gas canisters thrown by Israeli forces during clashes at the Israeli army-controlled Huwwara junction south of Nablus city.

Before clashes erupted, tens of Palestinians had performed prayers at al-Quds street and headed towards Huwwara junction in a solidarity march with Jerusalemites protesting Israeli policies at Al-Aqsa.

Palestinian protesters set rubber tires on fire and threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli forces, according to witnesses, while Israeli forces shot tear gas canisters, sound bombs, and rubber-coated bullets at Palestinians.

Cameraman for Palestinian-run Wafa news agency Ayman al-Noubani was also injured after being shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet in his foot, according to the Red Crescent.

Palestinian child among 8 Palestinians injured with rubber bullets in Qalqiliya

Israeli forces suppressed a weekly march in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya that was dedicated to supporting protests against Israel's restrictions at Al-Aqsa, causing clashes to break out between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters.

According to Murad Shteiwi, the coordinator for the village's popular resistance, Israeli forces suppressed the solidarity march by firing rubber-coated steel bullets at the demonstrators, leading to eight Palestinians being injured, including a child -- however, he did not mention the age, two Israeli peace activists, and Palestine TV cameraman Bashar Nazzal, all of whom were treated on the scene.

The march was launched with the participation of hundreds of locals, including Bayan Tabib, a member of the Fatah's revolutionary council, Shteiwi said. Locals and Israeli peace activists held signs and shouted slogans expressing their pride in Al-Aqsa Mosque and the success of protests led by Palestinians in occupied East Jerusalem.

Israeli undercovers detain Palestinians in Ramallah and al-Bireh district

At an Israeli checkpoint outside Israel's illegal Beit El settlement in the Ramallah and al-Bireh district clashes erupted with undercover Israeli forces, those in uniform, and Palestinian protesters, with at least three Palestinians being injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and four Palestinians being detained by undercover Israeli forces.

A march was launched in solidarity with Al-Aqsa protests from the northern entrance of al-Bireh city, and headed toward the illegal Beit El settlement, where violent clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces who disguised themselves as Palestinians during the clashes detained four Palestinian youths. The forces "violently assaulted" the Palestinians and began firing live bullets in the air. Israeli army vehicles then approached and assisted the undercover forces in detaining the youths.

Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets and steel bombs at the Palestinians, who in turn threw rocks at the Israeli forces.

Witnesses added that an Israeli bulldozer, escorted by Israeli forces, entered al-Bireh city and chased the Palestinians who had allegedly thrown rocks at the Israeli soldiers.

Meanwhile, in the Ramallah-area village of Bilin, a 13-year-old girl identified as Layan Abu Rahma and two Israeli peace activists suffered from tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces suppressed their weekly march dedicated to showing solidarity with Al-Aqsa protests, according to Abdullah Abu Rahma, the village's popular committee spokesperson.

Israeli forces fired sound bombs and tear gas canisters at the protesters who had marched with Palestinian flags and signs condemning Israel's Al-Aqsa aggressions, Abu Rahma said.

2 Palestinians shot with live ammunition at Qalandiya checkpoint

Clashes erupted following a march that was launched from the Qalandiya refugee camp in the Ramallah district, and headed to the infamous Qalandiya checkpoint separating Ramallah city from Jerusalem.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, live ammunition, and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians who hurled rocks at the Israeli soldiers. Two Palestinians were injured with live ammunition, while another two were wounded after being struck by rubber-coated steel bullets.

A witness said that an Israeli soldier was also hit in the head with a rock, which caused him to faint. The soldier was transferred to a hospital in Jerusalem via an Israeli military ambulance.

Israeli forces had closed Qalandiya checkpoint earlier on Friday in order to prevent Palestinians from entering Jerusalem to perform Friday prayers, when mass protests were expected to erupt across the occupied Palestinian territory.

Israeli forces injure Palestinian with live ammunition in Bethlehem city

Some 200 Palestinians performed Friday prayers on the Jerusalem-Hebron road in Bethlehem -- located in front of Israel’s separation wall and in between two Palestinian refugee camps. According to a witnesses, Israeli soldiers had looked on from an adjacent watchtower attached to the separation wall.

During the prayers, Israeli forces began firing live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, sound bombs, and tear gas at the Palestinian demonstrators. Israeli forces had also sprayed water at a Palestinian youth who threw stones at the armed forces, according to a witness.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said in statement that one Palestinian was injured with a live bullet, two with rubber-coated steel bullets, while 10 others suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation during the clashes.

Palestinian injured with live bullet in Hebron district

Israeli forces injured at least three Palestinians with live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets on Friday in Hebron city and Beit Ummar village in the southern West Bank.

In Hebron city, a march was launched from the al-Hussein mosque and headed towards Israeli-controlled seam zones in the city in solidarity with ongoing protests in Jerusalem against Israeli policies at Al-Aqsa, head of the Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance service Muhammad Sami al-Jabari told Ma’an.

Al-Jabari said that ambulance crews had transferred a Palestinian “youth” to to a hospital after he was shot with a live bullet during clashes that erupted with Israeli forces in the Bab al-Zawiya area of Hebron city.

Al-Jabari noted that the Palestinian’s wound was considered moderate.

According to al-Jabari, clashes had also erupted at Shuhada Street in Hebron’s Old City, where Israeli forces fired tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian protesters.

Two other Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes that erupted in the village of Beit Ummar in the Hebron district, al-Jabari said.

He noted that a number of other Palestinians suffered from tear gas inhalation in both Hebron city and Beit Ummar.
This is a developing story.
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