Scores hurt after Israeli troops attack Palestinian protest

Over 140 Palestinians hurt after Israeli troops attack anti-settlement protesters
2 min read
Over 140 people have been hurt after the Israeli army attacked Palestinians protesting against the building of an illegal settlement outpost near the West Bank village of Beita,
Over 140 Palestinians were injured by Israeli troops [AFP]

More than 140 Palestinians were injured on Friday by Israeli troops in the West Bank village of Beita, medics said, during protests against an illegal Israeli settlement outpost.

Hundreds of Palestinians gathered in Beita, located in the north of the Israeli-occupied West Bank, to protest against the nearby outpost of Evyatar, an AFP correspondent said.

The area has seen regular demonstrations against illegal settlement expansion on Palestinian land.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said 146 Palestinians were hurt as a result of the Israeli army assault, including nine by live fire, 34 by rubber-coated bullets and 87 by tear gas.

The Israeli army said in a statement that it had used "riot dispersal means" against the Palestinian protesters after they had thrown rocks.

Jewish settlers set up the illegal Evyatar outpost in early May, building rudimentary concrete homes and shacks in a matter of weeks.

The construction came in defiance of both international and Israeli law, and sparked fierce protests from Palestinians who insisted it was being built on their land.

But following a deal struck with nationalist Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's new government, the settlers left the outpost on July 2, while the structures they had built were to remain under army guard.

Israel's defence ministry said it would study the area to assess whether it could, under Israeli law, be declared state land.

Should that happen, Israel could then authorise a religious school to be built at Eviatar, with residences for its staff and students.

Around 475,000 Jewish settlers now live in the West Bank - which Israel has occupied since 1967 - in violation of international law.