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In West Bank, renewed clashes between Israeli forces, anti-settlement protesters

A Palestinian protester flashes the victory sign amid clashes with Israeli forces, following a demonstration against the expropriation of land by Israel in the village of Kafr Qaddum in the occupied West Bank, on January 14, 2022. (Photo by AFP)

Clashes have erupted between anti-settlement protesters and Israeli forces in several areas across the occupied West Bank, leaving a number of Palestinians injured.

On Friday, Israeli forces attacked weekly anti-settlement protests in the town of Beita, south of Nablus, using tear gas. There were no immediate reports of casualties among the protesters.

Since May, Beita has seen intensified clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians protesting against a settlement outpost that has been established on Sobeih Mountain by settlers under the protection of Israeli troops.

Palestinian media outlets cited local sources as saying that the Israeli forces razed a number of roads that lead to Sobeih Mountain earlier on Friday in a bid to block the protesters from reaching the mountain. Israeli troops also fired tear gas and rubber bullets at an anti-settlement rally in the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, on Friday.

On the same day, Palestinians took to the streets of the village of Kafr Qaddum, east of Qalqilya City, to protest against Israel’s settlement policy and were met by Israeli troops who used rubber bullets and tear gas against them. The participants in the rally was also carrying photos of Nasser Abu Hamid, a cancer patient held in Israeli jails, as his health condition seriously deteriorates amid deliberate Israeli negligence.

There are thousands of Palestinians held in Israeli jails. Human rights organizations say Israel violates all the rights and freedoms granted to prisoners by the Geneva Convention. Israeli jail authorities keep Palestinian prisoners under deplorable conditions lacking proper hygienic standards. Palestinian inmates have also been subjected to systematic torture, harassment, and repression.

Six Palestinians were hit with rubber bullets during the Kafr Qaddum clashes, while tens of others suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli forces.

Similar clashes also occurred in al-Khalil on Friday. 

Nearly 700,000 Israelis live in illegal settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East al-Quds. The UN Security Council has in several resolutions condemned the Tel Aviv regime’s settlement projects in the occupied Palestinian lands.

Hamas: Negev protests prove Israel’s failure

A spokesman for the Palestinian resistance movement Hamas said on Friday, “The rise of our people in the occupied Negev reveals that the Zionist occupation [Israel], with all its colonial tools, is completely unable to resolve the conflict against our Palestinian people.”

“This an ongoing battle that can’t stop until the victory of our people, the owner of the land and right.”

Over the past days, hundreds of Palestinian residents of the Negev desert in the Israeli-occupied territories have rallied to protest Israeli attempts to evict them.

Most Bedouin communities in the south are deprived of basic services such as water and electricity.

The Negev desert is historically inhabited by Arab tribes, socially related to the tribes of Sinai, the Arabian Peninsula and Jordan. The Palestinian Authority says Israel is committing crimes against Palestinians in the Negev region.

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