QALQILIYA (Ma'an) -- More than a dozen Palestinians suffered excessive tear gas inhalation, two were shot by rubber-coated steel bullets, and four were detained when Israeli forces suppressed a march in the village of Izbat al-Tabib in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya on Friday.
The march set off to plant seedlings in land threatened with confiscation for illegal Israeli settlement expansion, but protesters were confronted by Israeli forces who fired tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades into the crowd, the head of Izbat al-Tabib’s village council, Bayan Tabib, told Ma'an.
Medical sources said two Palestinians were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets, one in the stomach, the other in the thigh, while at least 13 others suffered excessive tear gas inhalation and were treated on site.
International and Israeli supporters marched in solidarity with the Palestinians protesters, and of the four detained, one was Palestinian and three were Israeli activists, al-Tabib said.
An Israeli army spokesperson said she was looking into the reports.
Izbeit at-Tabib is home to some 300 people, located near the illegal Isreali settlement of Alfe Menashe. While the majority of the population resides in Area B -- under Palestinian civil authority -- 96 percent of the village's land falls under full Israeli control in Area C, which is predominantly agricultural and vulnerable to Israeli settlement expansion.
Over 1,412 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of this year, the majority during clashes that broke out with the Israeli military during protests in the occupied West Bank, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.
UN rights monitor to the occupied Palestinian territory Makarim Wibisono recently condemned excessive use of force used by Israeli military forces and urged the Israeli authorities to comply with international law regarding the use of force and firearms.