Wed Jun 14, 2017 12:48PM
A Israeli border guard fires a tear gas canister during a demonstration by Palestinians and foreigners in the village of Nabi Salih, north of Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)
A Israeli border guard fires a tear gas canister during a demonstration by Palestinians and foreigners in the village of Nabi Salih, north of Ramallah, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on May 26, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli military forces have reportedly shot and wounded four Palestinians, and arrested a dozen more during separate raids across the occupied West Bank as well as East Jerusalem al-Quds as International Quds Day rallies in condemnation of the Tel Aviv regime’s occupation of Palestinian lands are drawing close.

Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the Israeli troopers stormed Duhayshah refugee camp south of the central West Bank city of Bethlehem, early on Wednesday, violently breaking into several houses before arresting former prisoners Muataz Sharayaa and Yunis al-Zaghari.

Violent clashes broke out in the aftermath of the raid, with Israeli forces firing live bullets to disperse the protests. Four people sustained gunshot wounds, and had to be transferred to a nearby hospital to receive medical treatment.

In the nearby village of Husan southwest of Bethlehem, Israeli forces detained Muhammad Nabil al-Shaer after raiding and searching his family’s house.

Israeli military forces also raided Misliya village south of the northern West Bank city of Jenin, and fired tear gas canisters and stun grenades before detaining 18-year-old Qasim Muhammad Abu al-Naim.

Elsewhere in the occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds neighborhood of Isawiyah, Israeli forces raided several houses and detained four Palestinians identified as Muhammad Samer Mahmoud, Muhammad Ala'a Mahmoud, Abd al-Fattah Abu Siyama, and Shakir Mustafa.

The other Palestinians were arrested in the city of Qalqilyah and Shuafat refugee camp in Jerusalem al-Quds.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Palestinians protest in front of Israeli forces following Friday prayers in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails, on May 26, 2017 in Beita, southeast of Nablus, in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the ongoing 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.

The late founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Imam Khomeini, named the last Friday of the lunar fasting month of Ramadan as the International Quds Day.

Each year, millions of people around the world stage rallies on that day to voice their support for the Palestinian nation and repeat their call for an end to the Tel Aviv regime’s atrocities and its occupation of the Palestinian territories.