Prayers in Hebron
HEBRON (Ma’an) — Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza on Friday, injuring scores who had gathered in solidarity with a massive protest in occupied East Jerusalem to denounce increasing Israeli security measures at the Al-Aqsa compound.
Palestinian demonstrators performed prayers outdoors across the occupied Palestinian territory in solidarity with Al-Aqsa, to denounce the installation of metal detectors, turnstiles, and additional security cameras in the compound after a deadly shooting attack
took place there on July 14.
Palestinians in Jerusalem have refused to enter the Al-Aqsa compound since the new measures were installed, choosing instead to pray outside of the compound in the streets of Jerusalem’s Old City.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 3,000 Palestinian were demonstrating across the occupied West Bank on Friday, adding that no Israelis had been reported injured in the allegedly “violent riots.”
They told Ma’an that they were looking into reports of each protest.
A Palestinian Red Crescent spokesperson told Ma’an that at least 193 Palestinians have been injured in East Jerusalem and the West Bank combined as of 3 p.m. on Friday.
Israeli forces violently suppressed demonstrators in the city of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, an eyewitness told Ma’an.
The witness said that some 300 demonstrators had gathered in front of an Israeli military base set behind Israel’s illegal separation wall in northern Bethlehem to pray, with a dozen of protesters chanting slogans.
As the majority of demonstrators began walking away from the separation wall, Israeli forces began spraying skunk water — a strong, foul smelling liquid — towards the crowd, before shooting tear gas.
The witness said that they had not seen any Palestinians throw projectiles towards the wall before Israeli forces targeted the demonstrators.
The Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma’an that at least 34 Palestinians were injured in the Bethlehem clashes, including one who was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they had reports of eight “confirmed hits” in Bethlehem, although they were not aware what weapons were used.
In the Bethlehem-area village of Tuqu, where a Palestinian was killed by Israeli forces on Thursday
, several Palestinians were reportedly injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and others suffered of excessive tear gas inhalation during a solidarity protest.A Ma’an reporter present at the scene said that Israeli forces were deployed across the neighborhood of Khirbet al-Deir, stationing themselves on rooftops and in alleyways.
Clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli soldiers in Hebron city in the southern West Bank, after Israeli forces sprayed skunk water and fired tear gas at a march in the area of Bab al-Zawiya.Medical sources told Ma’an that one Palestinian was shot in the head with a rubber-coated steel bullet, while another was shot in the thigh with a live bullet, and two others were hit with full metal jacket bullets in their lower extremities.
The Red Crescent reported that six were wounded by live bullets and four by rubber-coated steel bullets in Hebron.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that at least 11 Palestinians were wounded in Ramallah district clashes, including one who was shot with a live bullet.
There were also reports of Israeli forces suppressing a demonstration in the village of Qalandiya, where one of the major checkpoints between East Jerusalem and the West Bank is located.
A demonstration also took place in the village of Nabi Salih in the Ramallah district of the West Bank, known for its Friday marches against the Israeli occupation.
The army spokesperson told Ma’an that there was one “confirmed hit” in Nabi Salih, although they were not aware of what weapon was used.
The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that six Palestinians suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation and one suffered from burns in clashes in Tulkarem city.
Meanwhile in the besieged Gaza Strip, a Palestinian youth was reportedly injured with live fire during a protest east of Khan Yunis.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports, although they said they were not aware of any clashes in the Gaza Strip.
(Source / 21.07.2017)