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Photo: AFP
Palestinian protestor last week
Photo: AFP
Palestinians say dozens wounded at protests for prisoners
At rallies supporting the hunger strikers, Palestinian health officials allege that three people were hospitalized, including one reportedly shot in the head by a rubber bullet.

Dozens of protesters were wounded at West Bank demonstrations in support of hunger-striking prisoners held by Israel, Palestinian health officials said Friday.

 

 

Spokesman Anas Diek said three people were hospitalized, including one who was shot in the head by a rubber bullet and another who was hit in the knee by a tear gas canister. He said others were treated on the scene, including for inhaling tear gas, but that he had no further details.

 

Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian protesters hurl stones towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)

Director of Ramallah Hospital Ahmad Bitawi said more than 20 people were injured. He said most were leg injuries and not life threatening.

 

In Bethlehem, protesters waved flags with photos of Marwan Barghouti, the jailed leader who called for the hunger strike.

 

Marwan Barghouti (File photo: Gil Yohanan) (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
Marwan Barghouti (File photo: Gil Yohanan)

 

Some 6,500 Palestinians are currently in Israeli lockups. Israel calls them security prisoners—held for offenses ranging from stone throwing to carrying out attacks that killed or wounded Israeli civilians and soldiers.

 

Palestinian protesters wave their national flag during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)
Palestinian protesters wave their national flag during a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)

 

Palestinians say between 1,300 and 1,500 prisoners have been on a hunger strike for 12 days demanding better conditions. Israel puts the number at about 1,100.

 

A Palestinian protester uses a sling shot to hurl towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)
A Palestinian protester uses a sling shot to hurl towards Israeli security forces during clashes following a demonstration in the West Bank town of Bethlehem last week. (Photo: AFP)

 

The Israeli military said about 2000 Palestinians "participated in violent riots" at several places in the West Bank on Friday. It said soldiers responded with riot control procedures but did not elaborate.

 

Barghouti, a leader of the 2000 Palestinian uprising, is serving five life terms after being convicted by an Israeli court of directing two shooting attacks and a bombing that killed five people. Barghouti, who disputed the court's jurisdiction and didn't mount a defense, has been in prison since 2002.

 

Palestinians hold pictures of their relatives held in Israeli jails during a supportive rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, in the West Bank city of Hebron last week (Photo: EPA)
Palestinians hold pictures of their relatives held in Israeli jails during a supportive rally calling for the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israel, in the West Bank city of Hebron last week (Photo: EPA)

 

Polls suggest that the 58-year-old Barghouti is the most popular choice among Palestinians to succeed the 82-year-old Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.