Hundreds of Palestinians flocked to the border between Israel and Gaza on Friday afternoon to participate in a demonstration that quickly escalated when multiple participants started igniting tires and hurling rocks at IDF soldiers deployed in the area.
According to the IDF, riot dispersal means were used to disperse the crowd, including the firing of warning shots into the air and the use of live fire. While Palestinian media reported injuries due to tank fire, the IDF denied the claims.
However, several were injured by gunfire.
Police added that the demonstrators tried to cause damage to the security fence and enter forbidden areas. It was then that undercover snipers prevented the main instigators from approaching the security fence and fired at the four main suspects. No other injuries were reported during the demonstrations in the area.
Simultaneously, across the West Bank several demonstrations took place in the afternoon, with hundreds of Palestinians igniting tires and throwing rocks at IDF troops. Two IDF soldiers were lightly injured by rocks that were hurled in Nabi Saleh and in Hebron. The IDF used riot dispersal means, with no live fire.
Violent riots took place in the cities of Jenin, Nablus, Qalqilya, Ramallah, Hebron and Bethlehem. Riots also happened in the Jordan Valley.
Demonstrators blocked a road in Nilin, which is used by Israeli settlers, and in Beit Dagan before they clashed with IDF soldiers. The IDF said it was aware of injured Palestinians.
The demonstrations were held in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners currently on hunger strike in Israeli prisons. Palestinians say that the open-ended strike is in protest against poor conditions in prisons and the Israeli policy of detention without trial that has been applied against thousands since the 1980s.
Additionally, IDF and Border Police forces arrested five suspects who hurled rocks towards Rachel’s Tomb and the suspects are expected to be interrogated by security forces.
Reuters contributed to this report.
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