SHAFAQNA – Dozens of people have sustained injuries when clashes broke out between Palestinians demonstrating in solidarity with prisoners on an open-ended hunger strike in Israeli jails and Israeli military forces across the occupied West Bank.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Palestinians staged rallies in front of the Israeli-run Ofer prison in the West Bank city of Betunia, Qalandiya checkpoint north of Jerusalem al-Quds, the towns of Silwad and Sinjil, as well as the small village of Nabi Salih on Friday, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.
Violent confrontations also erupted in the towns of Beita, Naqurah, Beit Furik, Beit Ummar, New Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of Nablus as well as Arrub refugee camp in the southern West Bank.
Israeli soldiers used tear gas and fired live and rubber-coated steel bullets to disperse the crowd.
The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said at least 60 people were injured after being struck with either live or rubber bullets, or inhaling excessive amounts of tear gas.
Since April 17, over 1,500 Palestinian prisoners have gone on a mass hunger strike in protest at the conditions of Israeli prisons.
The head of the Palestinian Committee of Prisoners’ Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, announced on Monday that the health condition of the strike leader, Marwan Barghouti, had been critically deteriorating over the past week.
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.
More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October 2015.
The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
Source: Press TV