TUBAS (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces violently suppressed a protest against Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank district of Tubas on Thursday, as three demonstrators suffered from tear gas inhalation.
Ahmad Said, the deputy governor of Tubas, told Ma’an that tens of protesters had installed a tent in an area of the northern Jordan Valley to protest against Israel’s expanding illegal settlements. However, Israeli forces suppressed the protest on Thursday, firing tear gas canisters at the demonstrators and causing three to suffer tear gas inhalation.
Said added that Israeli forces had also assaulted a crew of Palestinian journalists, causing injuries among them. He did not specify what kind of injuries were sustained during the incident.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she would look into reports.
An estimated 500,000 to 600,000 Israeli settlers reside in 196 illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem and in a further 232 settler outposts considered illegal both by international law and Israeli domestic law -- despite Israeli authorities commonly retroactively legalizing the outposts.
Human rights groups and international leaders have strongly condemned Israel’s settlement construction, claiming it is a strategic maneuver to prevent the establishment of a contiguous, independent Palestinian state as envisioned in the two-state solution by changing the facts on the ground.
The international community’s rejection of Israeli settlement expansion in the occupied Palestinian territory was strongly reiterated last month when the United Nations Security Council passed resolution 2334,
calling for an end to illegal settlements in the occupied Palestinian territory and confirming that their existence is illegal under international law.