Two injuries and dozens of cases of gas inhalation were reported when Israeli troops attacked non-violent solidarity protests in six Palestinian villages in the central and southern West Bank on Friday.This week, the Friday protests in villages located on the path of the Israeli wall were in solidarity with Palestinian political detainees on hunger strike protesting ill-treatment and the use of administrative detention policies by the Israeli military.
Protesters declared their solidarity with prisoners on hunger strike, especially Bilal Diab and Thaer Halahla both entering the 67th day of their open-ended hunger strike. In Bil’in village, dozens of local youth have set up a tent in the center of the village, and are on day 15 of a solidarity hunger strike along with over 2,000 imprisoned Palestinians who are doing the same.
In the southern West Bank, the villages of Al-Khader, Beit Omer and Al Ma’ssara near Bethlehem city, organized anti-wall protests. Villagers were joined by Israeli and international supporters at all three locations.
Two Palestinians were injured, another one was arrested and many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation when soldiers attacked villagers and their supporters at the village of Al-Khader. Witnesses said that soldiers opened fire on them as soon as they left the village. Troops later invaded Al-Khader, took over roof tops of local homes and used them to fire at protesters.
In Beit Omer and Al Ma’ssara villages troops stopped the protests at the village entrances and used tear gas to force people back into the villages. Many were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In the central West Bank, troops used tear gas and sound bombs to attack protesters along with their international and Israeli supporters at the villages of Bil’in, Nil’in and Al Nabi Saleh. Local sources reported that many protesters were treated for the effects of tear gas inhalation.
In Al Nabi Saleh village troops fired tear gas at residents’ homes causing damage.
In Bil’in village, dozens of cases of asphyxiation from gas marked the weekly march organized by the popular committee against the wall and settlements. A Norwegian Delegation and dozens of Palestinian, Israeli and international peace activists participated in the demonstration.
When demonstrators arrived at the Abu Lemon area, they made some holes in the barbed wire and then broke through it. The soldiers who were situated behind the concrete wall shot rubber bullets, stun grenades, tear gas and waste water mixed with chemicals towards the demonstrators which resulted in many suffering from gas inhalation. All of them were treated by ambulance crews in the field .
The numerous tear gas canisters which were shot into the villagers’ olive groves, very dry in the current hot weather, caused numerous fires there.