Israeli forces shoot, tear gas at anti-settlement protesters

Palestinians injured by rubber bullets as Israeli forces suppress anti-settlement protests
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Protests against Israeli settlement activity rocked a number of Palestinian villages on Friday, but were met with force by Israeli troops, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas, injuring dozens of Palestinians.
In Beita, the Palestinian Red Crescent said its teams had treated 33 Palestinians [Getty - file photo]

Israeli forces cracked down on anti-settlement protests in villages across the occupied West Bank on Friday, The New Arab's Arabic-language site, Al-Araby Al-Jadeed, reported

Dozens of Palestinians were injured when Israeli forces used tear gas and rubber bullets to violently disperse a peaceful protest that started from the main mosque of the village of Beit Dajan near Nablus, in the northern West Bank.

In the village of Beita also near Nablus, thousands of Palestinians performed Friday prayers on Mount Sbeih, where settlers have tried to build an outpost on Palestinian land.

Israeli forces stopped a march reaching the mount’s summit by firing rubber bullets and tear gas. The Palestinian Red Crescent said its teams had treated 33 Palestinians, 31 of whom suffered from the effect of tear gas inhalation and two who had been struck by rubber bullets fired by Israeli forces.

At least one youth was treated in a nearby hospital.

Israeli troops also clamped down on protests that erupted in Massafer Yatta, a cluster of Palestinian hamlets south of the city of Hebron, arresting seven journalists covering the events, according to local activist Fuad Al-Amour.

The area was closed off and several foreign solidarity activists were refused entry, Al-Amour said.

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Hundreds of Palestinians had performed Friday prayers at Umm Al-Shaqhan, one of many villages in Massafer Yatta threatened by the expansion of the nearby illegal settler outpost of Avigayil.

In the northern West Bank, Israeli forces fired rubber bullets on a crowd of weekly protesters in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, near the city of Qalqiliya

Most of those struck were treated on-site by the Palestinian red crescent but one man was taken to hospital. Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on an ambulance, smashing its rear window.

Over half a million Israeli Jews live in settlements across the West Bank, which are considered illegal under international law.

Early on Friday, Israeli forces opened fire on a vehicle driven by three Palestinians in the town of Beit Fajjar, south of Bethlehem, according to Palestinian News Agency WAFA.

A car chase ensued and the vehicle overturned, injuring the driver and two passengers, security sources told WAFA. The sources added that Israeli troops prevented Palestinian medics from treating the injured, all of whom were detained.