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Israeli forces quell protest in Sheikh Jarrah

Children wave Palestinian flags during a demonstration attended by Palestinians and foreign activists in the east al-Quds neighborhood of Sheikh Jarrah on February 25, 2022. (Via AFP)

Israeli forces have quelled a peaceful protest in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood of the occupied East al-Quds.

Hundreds of Palestinians, including residents of Sheikh Jarrah and their supporters, rallied across the neighborhood on Friday, carrying the Palestinian flag and banners condemning the Israeli regime’s practices and settlement expansion policy.

According to Palestinian media reports, the Israeli forces assaulted a number of activists who took part in the protest.

A group of settlers also stormed the neighborhood under the protection of the Israeli troops, trying to provoke the Palestinians by raising the Israeli flag.

Tensions heightened across the Palestinian territories on February 13, when Israeli forces and illegal settlers renewed their attacks against Palestinians in Sheikh Jarrah. The neighborhood has been the scene of frequent crackdowns by Israeli regime forces on the Palestinians protesting against the threatened expulsion of dozens of families from their homes in favor of Israeli settler groups.

The initial tensions that erupted in Sheikh Jarrah last year in part sparked a May 2021 war between the Israeli regime and resistance groups in the Gaza Strip.

Dozens of Palestinians injured in West Bank

Also on Friday, Israeli forces suppressed a weekly anti-settlement protest in the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, in the occupied West Bank.

Palestinians taking part in a similar protest in the town of Beita, south of Nablus, were also attacked by the Israeli forces, who fired rubber bullets and tear gas at the demonstrators on Friday.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society reported that the clashes in Beit Dajan and Beita left 22 people injured.

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.

Meanwhile, three Palestinians were hit with rubber bullets and dozens more suffered breathing difficulties due to inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli troops at Palestinians taking part in a weekly protest in the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqilya Province on Friday.

Murad Shteiwi, a media spokesman in the Qalqilya region, said the Israeli troops physically assaulted Mohammed Nedal, 25, and arrested him during the clashes.

Israel occupied East al-Quds, 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.

In the city of al-Khalil (Hebron), a number of Palestinians on Friday staged a rally to mark the 28th anniversary of the massacre at Ibrahimi Mosque, in which 29 Palestinians were killed at the hands of a settler. The demonstrators were met with force.

Israeli forces fired tear gas, and sound bombs at the participants in the protest. Tens of Palestinians suffered breathing difficulties due to the tear gas.

Israeli crimes imprescriptible: Hamas

Marking the anniversary of the massacre, the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas warned the Israeli leaders of the consequences of continuing to target the holy sites, holding the Tel Aviv regime accountable for these crimes and their repercussions.

Hamas stressed that the Israeli crimes were "imprescriptible," adding that the Israeli leaders would not go unpunished.

On the anniversary of the 1994 massacre, the Department of Human Rights and Civil Society in the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO) also called on the global community to provide international protection for the Palestinians and their holy sites under the Israeli occupation.

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