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Israeli forces clash with Palestinian anti-settlement protesters

A Palestinian protester is confronted by Israeli forces during a demonstration against Israeli settlements in the village of Qusra, in the Israeli occupied West Bank on March 2, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have clashed with Palestinians attending protests against illegal settlements in the West Bank, firing tear gas at demonstrators near the town of Nablus.

The protest rallies were staged on Monday by Palestinians in the West Bank as the Israeli regime ramped up its illegal settlements in the occupied territories.

The protest was held in the mountains near the town of Nablus. The Palestinians gathered there after Israeli settlers threatened to take over the area.

Regime forces clashed with protesters and fired tear gas at them.

The protest rallies came against the backdrops of Israel's plans for constructing thousands of new settler units.

Back on Thursday, the High Planning Subcommittee of Israel's so-called Civil Administration gave the green light for construction of close to 1,800 new settler units in the illegal settlements it has built across the occupied West Bank, in a move apparently aimed at securing votes for scandal-hit Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu ahead of the elections held this Monday.

The United Nations has criticized Israel’s plans, saying they would effectively cut the West Bank in two and isolate Palestinian neighborhoods.

Israel has become more brazen in its attempts to trample upon Palestinians’ rights since the 2016 election of US President Donald Trump, who has unprecedentedly intensified Washington’s support for the regime.

Under a so-called Middle East peace plan unveiled in January by the US, Israel will have sovereignty over all settlements in the occupied territories.

More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the West Bank. Israeli settlements are illegal under international law.

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