At least one Palestinian man has sustained gunshot wounds and several others suffered tear gas inhalation after skirmishes broke out between Israeli forces and demonstrators holding a rally in support of hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.
Local sources, speaking on condition of anonymity, said dozens of Palestinians had converged outside the Israeli-run Ofer prison near the occupied West Bank city of Beitunia on Thursday to express solidarity with the Palestinian inmates on hunger strike in Israeli jails.
Israeli military forces then intervened and fired rubber-steel bullets and teargas canisters to disperse the crowd. A protester was shot and injured during the conflict. The area was partially covered with a cloud of smoke, causing several demonstrators to cough and wheeze.
The rally came as some 1,500 prisoners from all Palestinian political factions are taking part in an open-ended hunger strike in protest at harsh prison conditions and restrictions on family visits.
On April 13, the London-based prominent rights group Amnesty International called on the Tel Aviv regime to end “unlawful and cruel” policies towards the Palestinian prisoners.
“Israel's ruthless policy of holding Palestinian prisoners arrested in the Occupied Palestinian Territories in prisons … is a flagrant violation of the Fourth Geneva Convention,” said Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International.
“It is unlawful and cruel and the consequences for the imprisoned person and their loved ones, who are often deprived from seeing them for months, and at times for years on end, can be devastating,” Mughrabi added.
Meanwhile, clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troopers near the al-Quds University campus in Abu Dis town have left one Palestinian injured.
Israeli military forces had raided the town in the early hours of Thursday, deploying dozens of troops in its streets and neighborhoods.