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Israeli forces fire tear gas at demonstration in solidarity with prisoner hunger strike

May 24, 2017 11:00 P.M. (Updated: May 25, 2017 1:25 P.M.)
SALFIT (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces clashed with Palestinian youth in the central occupied West Bank on Wednesday afternoon during a march in solidarity with hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel, who have been forgoing food for 38 days.

Witnesses told Ma’an that the demonstrators had released balloons with photographs of prisoners during the march.

They added that Israeli troops fired tear gas at the Palestinian youths when they approached the illegal Israeli separation barrier near the illegal settlement of Ariel in the Salfit district, with some of the protesters then throwing stones at the soldiers.

Video footage taken at the scene showed one youth throwing a rock amid the tear gas.

No injuries were reported.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they would look into the reports.

The estimated 1,300 hunger strikers have denounced the torture, ill treatment, and medical neglect of Palestinian prisoners at the hands of Israeli authorities, as well as Israel’s widespread use of administrative detention -- internment without trial or charges -- which is only permitted under international law in extremely limited circumstances.

Israeli authorities have detained approximately one million Palestinians since the establishment of the state of Israel in 1948 and the subsequent occupation of the West Bank, East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip in 1967, according to a joint statement released in April by Palestinian organizations.

According to prisoners' rights organization Addameer, some 6,300 Palestinians were held in Israeli custody as of April.
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