At least 82 Palestinians have sustained gunshot wounds during new clashes between Israeli military forces and Palestinian protesters in the occupied West Bank as well as the blockaded Gaza Strip.
Gaza’s Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said a total of 16 Palestinians were shot by live rounds, while at least two others were hit by rubber-coated steel bullets in the impoverished coastal sliver.
He added that five of those injured by live fire were struck when clashes broke out between Israeli troops and Palestinian protesters near the Nahal Oz border crossing, which lies northeast of Gaza City.
Additionally, a total of 24 Palestinians were shot and wounded by live fire across the West Bank on Friday. As many as 40 people were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, and more than 100 others suffered tear gas inhalation.
Meanwhile, 14 Palestinians were hit with live fire and 10 others with rubber bullets in al-Khalil (Hebron), situated 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of al-Quds (Jerusalem), on Friday.
Two young Palestinians, identified as 13-year-old Qaisar Jihad and Hamza Mutei, 22, were shot in the legs and lightly injured when Israeli forces opened fire in the town of Kafr Qaddum, located 17 kilometers (10 miles) east of Qalqilya.
In the village of Bil’in, situated 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) west of Ramallah, photojournalist Hamdi Abu Rahma was shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the thigh.
Thirteen Palestinians were also injured with rubber-coated steel bullets in the village of Qusra, located 28 kilometers (17 miles) southeast of Nablus. Moreover, two teenagers were shot in the lower extremities by live fire in Nablus.
Tensions between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank and the Gaza Strip continue unabated. The fresh wave of unrest was triggered by Israel’s imposition in August of restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East al-Quds.
Palestinians are also angry at increasing violence by Israeli settlers who frequently storm the al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. The Palestinians say the Tel Aviv regime seeks to change the status quo of the compound.
According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, more than 100 Palestinians have been killed and hundreds of others injured since the Israeli regime began a harsh crackdown on the Palestinians in early October.