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Israeli troops clash with Palestinian protesters in West Bank

Israeli forces fire teargas at demonstrators protesting the closure of the eastern entrance of Azzoun town in the West Bank, February 26, 2015.

A series of fierce clashes have broken out when Israeli forces attacked separate groups of Palestinians protesting in the occupied West Bank and opened fire to disperse the crowds.

On Friday, dozens of Palestinians and international activists held a demonstration in Kafr Qaddum village, near the northern West Bank city of Qalqilya, to express their resentment over the ongoing Israeli settlement building and the separation wall.

Violence erupted when Israeli troops assaulted the protesters and fired teargas canisters to break up the protest.                         

Eyewitnesses said the Israeli troops also shot and injured three Palestinian civilians during the clashes.

Sources said a 17-year-old teenager was shot by a live round in his leg, and another was hit by a gas bomb in his arm. Moreover, another Palestinian sustained light wounds.

Meanwhile, Israeli forces also kidnapped four French supporters who were attending the weekly protest in the central village of Bil’in near Ramallah.

Violent clashes were also reported to have broken out in the West Bank villages of Ni’lin, Nabi Salih, and al-Masara, where Israeli military forces fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse the protesters, and reportedly detained several demonstrators.

Dozens of Palestinians suffered temporary asphyxiation after inhaling teargas during the protest rallies, which were organized by the Popular Resistance Committee.

Thousands of Palestinians stage weekly rallies to denounce the Israeli settlement activities and the separation wall, which has isolated a large part of the Palestinian territory.

The latest demonstrations were held as international criticism is growing against Israel's settlement activities. The international community regards all Israeli settlements built on the occupied Palestinian land as illegal.

More than half a million Israelis live in over 120 illegal settlements built since Israel’s occupation of the Palestinian territories in 1967.

Israel occupied and then annexed the West Bank and East al-Quds (Jerusalem) in the Six-Day War of 1967, but the move has never been recognized by the international community.

Palestinians are seeking to create an independent state on the territories of the West Bank, East al-Quds, and the besieged Gaza Strip and are demanding that Israel withdraw from the occupied Palestinian territories.


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