Published: Sat, May 20, 2017
Global | By Maureen Mccoy

Palestinians injured during rallies for prisoners

"West Bank Palestinians can not vote for the government that dominates their lives".

The demonstrations were held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners now on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Some have managed to pressure Israel into releasing them, although some have been re-detained.

Led by jailed resistance icon Marwan Barghouti, more than 1,500 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17 to demand more prison visits, better medical care and improved treatment for female inmates.

Muataz Hussein Hilal, 23, from Beita in the West Bank, was killed after the unnamed settler fired on a crowd of people who were throwing rocks at his vehicle near the Hawara checkpoint.

Hundreds of Palestinians took part in the march, leading to clashes in more than one location in Qalqilia governorate.

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The situation on the ground in the Israeli-occupied West Bank on Friday reached a critical and unsafe juncture as the health of the hunger-striking Palestinian political prisoners continued to deteriorate on the 33rd day of their strike.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that between 30 and 40 people had been injured throughout the territories, mostly by tear gas and rubber bullets. "The prisoners are very determined and prefer to die in dignity rather than continue to be imprisoned in inhumane conditions", Shawan Jabarin, the director of the internationally-renowned Palestinian rights group Al Haq, based in Ramallah in the West Bank, told the African News Agency (ANA) during an interview earlier in the week.

An Israeli settler was set free by police on Thursday, after he shot and killed a Palestinian man in the West Bank, saying that he "feared for his life".

Israeli forces stationed at military watchtowers along the borders with Israel opened live fire toward Palestinians marching at contacts points along the eastern, southern, and northern borders of the Strip, shooting and injuring at least three Palestinians. Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured by rocks that were hurled in Nabi Saleh and in Hebron.

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