FIERCE clashes erupted across the West Bank in Palestine during Friday’s ‘Day of Rage’ protests which were attacked by Israeli forces.
Protesters marched in solidarity with hunger-striking detainees, who entered their 12th day without food. Palestinians gathered at many solidarity tents that were set up across various West Bank cities, towns and villages before they marched to nearby military checkpoints and clashes with Israeli soldiers.
In a statement issued last week, the Fatah movement pronounced Friday to be a ‘day of rage’ and urged the Palestinian people to ‘clash with the occupier everywhere across our homeland’ to express solidarity with some 1,800 detainees on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
In the northern West Bank, hundreds of Palestinians gathered at Al-Naqoura village junction, northwest of Nablus city. Israeli forces attacked the demonstration with tear gas canisters, stun grenades and set fire to some nearby farmlands. Similar clashes broke out at the western entrance of Beita village, south of Nablus.
Israeli troops fired tear gas canisters and rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinian protesters, who responded by hurling stones at troops. Similar marches were organised in Jenin city and the Jenin-district villages of Jaba’, Yaabad and Kafr Ra’i in the northern West Bank.
In Qalqiliya district, Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops near the Israeli checkpoint at the southern entrance to Qalqiliya city and at the entrance of Kafr Qaddum village, east of the city. Israeli troops showered protesters with tear gas canisters, causing many to suffocate.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces opened fire towards a demonstration in Nabi Saleh village, northwest of Ramallah, hitting and injuring a protester with a live round in the head. Some 1,800 Palestinians imprisoned by Israel have joined a hunger strike led by senior Fatah official Marwan Barghouthi since April 17 to protest at the torture, ill-treatment and medical neglect of detainees by the Israeli Prison Service (IPS) as well as Israel’s policy of administrative detention, internment without trial or charges.