Dozens of Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces in the flashpoint town of Beita, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus as clashes erupted after Israeli settlers stormed the area.
According to the Palestine Red Crescent, nearly 90 Palestinians, including four journalists, were injured during clashes with Israeli forces in the vicinity of Sobeih Mountain in Beita, south of Nablus, on Friday.
The injured included at least 57 people who suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli troops, and five others who were hit with rubber bullets used by the forces.
Ja’far Shtayyeh was identified as one of the journalists who were injured while covering the clashes.
Media outlets reported that the clashes erupted on Friday at dawn as Israeli forces attacked the Palestinians who were protesting a visit by a group of Israeli settlers to the area.
Israeli forces had earlier razed roads that led to Sobeih Mountain in a bid to block the Palestinians from reaching the area.
Footage circulated on social media on Friday, showing Palestinians hurling stones at Israeli bulldozers during the clashes, which also saw arrests.
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 forces.
To the east of Nablus, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and Palestinians in the village of Beit Dajan, leaving 16 Palestinians injured.
Also on Friday, Israeli forces suppressed a weekly anti-settlement rally in the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya Province on Friday.
Murad Shteiwi, a media spokesman in the Qalqilya region, said the Israeli forces opened fire on the protesters, injuring a 12-year-old boy.
Palestinian media reports said scores of Palestinians also suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by the Israeli forces.
Israel occupied the West Bank and the Gaza Strip — territories the Palestinians want for a future state — during the Six-Day Arab-Israeli War in 1967. It later had to withdraw from Gaza.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank. All the settlements are illegal under international law. The United Nations Security Council has condemned the settlement activities in several resolutions.