Protest Escalates and Violence Along With It

05 Jun
2:55 AM

In the city of Jenin, stores and shops closed on Wednesday, in a response to an announcement by Palestinian national and Islamic bodies of a mass march and commercial strike in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners.According to Al Ray, commercial traffic in Jenin was halted amidst a march which extended to the front of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) headquarters.

Prisoners have been on strike for 42 days in a row, Al Ray reports, with the youngest hunger striker, Ahmad Rimawi, being just 19 years old.

Meanwhile, just west of Jenin, on Wednesday, West Bank security services detained six of its members and summoned six others from several cities, Hamas has stated.

According to Al Ray Palestinian Media Agency, Palestinian forces arrested Osama al-Sawafta and Bahaa Ghalion from Tubas, and Ramadan al-Hash’lamon from Hebron, in addition to Ahmad Rayan and brothers Zakaria and Mohammed Hashaikah from Ramallah, while forces summoned Mohamed al-Nat’sha, Baraa Erziqat and Muhannad al-Rabay from Hebron, and Khaled Sleem, Orabi al-Jawarish and Abdul-Mahdi al-Zohour from Bethlehem.

The security campaign comes only days after Palestinian rivals Hamas and Fatah effectively agreed upon the new consensus government announced by President Abbas on June 2.

Abbas was recently quoted as saying that his collaboration with Israeli occupation forces is “sacred” and would continue even if the PA forms a “government” backed by the Palestinian military resistance organization Hamas.

The process of selecting a cabinet has officiated the relinquishing of three major ministerial portfolios — the Foreign Ministry, the Ministry of Religious Affairs and, finally, the Ministry of Prisoner Affairs, which Abbas abolished under Israeli and American pressure.

The Palestinian President has also come under recent scrutiny, by human rights group Amnesty International, for the PA’s participation in the arrest of BDS activists Zaid Shuaibi, Fajer Harb, Fadi Quran, and Abed al-Fatah Hamayel, during a peaceful protest in Ramallah’s al-Qasaba Theatre on April 12.

Meanwhile, in Bethlehem, three Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli soldiers attempting to break up a solidarity protest near the Ofer detention center, west of Ramallah, in the central West Bank on Wednesday.

The shooting occurred on the same site where Israeli soldiers, this past month, shot dead two Palestinian teenage boys during a similar protest near Ofer.

Clashes broke out after Israeli forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the protest, Ma’an reports, leaving three were wounded after Israeli forces opened fire with rubber-coated steel bullets.

Others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

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