Palestinians, Israelis Clash on Day of Rage

Protesters hurled stones at Israeli military vehicles.Protesters hurled stones at Israeli military vehicles.

At least 50 Palestinian protesters were injured in clashes with Israeli forces on a “day of rage” held across the occupied Palestinian territories to show solidarity with more than 1,500 prisoners on hunger strike in Israeli prisons.

The majority of injuries resulted from tear gas inhalation, while some protesters were shot with live or rubber bullets, a ministry spokesperson told Aljazeera.

Director of Ramallah Hospital Ahmad Bitawi said more than 20 people were injured. He said most were leg injuries and not life threatening.

The “day of rage” was called for by Fatah, the political party of Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, and the national committee to support the prisoners’ hunger strike.

In a statement issued last week, Fatah said the “excessive” practices of the Israeli occupation, particularly by the Israeli Prison Service, meant Palestinians should “clash with the occupier everywhere across our homeland”.

On Friday, Palestinians across the occupied West Bank gathered at the solidarity tents set up before proceeding to nearby military checkpoints.

On a hillside overlooking the entrance to Ofer Prison, where a number of hunger-striking prisoners are detained, dozens of young men hurled stones at Israeli military vehicles.

Israeli forces responded with volleys of tear gas and rubber bullets, while the occasional live round was heard.

Clashes also erupted in towns and villages across the West Bank where protesters threw stones at Israeli forces who responded with a variety of crowd control weapons and live fire, according to local media.

Palestinian prisoners began a hunger strike on April 17 in protest over conditions in Israeli prisons, calling for more family visits, better medical attention and an end to torture and administrative detention—imprisonment without charge or trial.

Around 6,500 Palestinians are currently being held in Israeli prisons, 500 of whom are held under administrative detention.

The “day of rage” followed a general strike that shuttered businesses, schools, government institutions and public transport across the occupied Palestinian territories on Thursday.


Add new comment

Read our comment policy before posting your viewpoints