Scores of Palestinians have been injured in clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank town of Beita, medics said. Protests there have been ongoing for several months, since Israel installed an outpost settlement in the area.
At least 146 Palestinians were “injured by live and rubber bullets and tear gas canisters during the confrontations with the occupation in Beita,” the Palestinian Red Crescent reported on Friday. Nine civilians were wounded by live bullets, the Palestinian Shehab News Agency reported, citing a Red Crescent official.
Palestinian media outlets shared images of stone-slinging rioters and injured protesters being stretchered away by medics. Video footage also shows the Palestinians kicking away tear gas canisters.
مراسلنا: “3 إصابات بالرصاص المطّاطي الذي يطلقه الاحتلال صوب الشبّان خلال المواجـــهات في بلدة بيتا جنوب نابلس”#بيتا#فلسطينpic.twitter.com/U3oKvoYsky
#شاهد | تواصل المواجهات مع قوات الاحتلال على جبل صبيح في بيتا جنوب نابلس. pic.twitter.com/hJjdnyuFqf
The clashes took place several hours after Israeli forces rolled into Beita and reportedly raided a number of houses. Violent protests have been a regular occurrence there since May, inflamed by the construction of an Israeli outpost settlement atop nearby Jabal Sbeih. The outpost itself was illegal even under Israeli law and was evacuated last month, but the structures were left intact, stoking concern among Palestinians that they could simply be re-occupied at any time.
Moreover, while Israeli civilians have left the outpost, it will remain in use by the Israel Defense Forces as an observation post.
Supported by successive Israeli governments, the West Bank settlements have attracted international condemnation. The land they are built on is recognized as Palestinian under international law, and by the UN.
Earlier this month, the UN special rapporteur on human rights in the occupied Palestinian territory, Michael Lynk, said that “the Israeli settlements do amount to a war crime.” He then called on the international community to take more active steps to force Tel Aviv to abandon this policy.
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