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4 injured with live fire during clashes at Qalandiya checkpoint

May 18, 2017 9:48 P.M. (Updated: May 19, 2017 3:35 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted between dozens of Palestinian youth and armed Israeli soldiers Thursday evening near the Qalandiya military checkpoint in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah.

Four Palestinians were injured with live fire, while five were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and several others suffered from severe tear-gas inhalation.

A march set off from in front of a hunger-strike solidarity tent in the Qalandiya refugee camp towards the checkpoint, as protesters expressed anger over the killing of 23-year-old Muataz Bani Shamsa, who was shot and killed by an Israeli settler in the Nablus-area village of Huwwara earlier Thursday.

Palestinians also set off from the Ramallah-area al-Amari refugee camp towards the Qalandiya checkpoint in protest of Shamsa’s killing and in solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners who entered their 32nd day of mass hunger strike on Thursday.

Clashes erupted around the checkpoint, with Israeli forces opening live fire and rubber-coated steel bullets on protesters.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that around "300 rioters hurled fire bombs at Israeli forces, who responded with riot dispersal means." When asked to comment on claims that forces were using live fire on protesters, the spokesperson said she could confirm that forces were using rubber-coated steel bullets.

Shamsa, who was killed during clashes that erupted after Israeli forces attempted to suppress a solidarity march, was the 23rd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017. Seven Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time frame.

Several districts across the West Bank witnessed violent clashes on Thursday, as Palestinians marched in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners, and Israeli forces suppressed marches and solidarity events with live fire, rubber bullets, and tear gas.
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