About 200 Palestinians throw stones at IDF & Police during West Bank demonstration in support of prisoners on hunger strikes.
Security forces respond with tear gas. MK Tibi: Region will burn if any hunger-striking prisoner die.
By Elior Levy
Protesters at a Palestinian demonstration in support of prisoners on a hunger strike clashed on Friday with Israeli troops and Border Guard officers.
The IDF said that during the protest, held at the Bituniya crossing near Ofer Prison, about 200 Palestinians threw rocks at the soldiers who responded with tear gas during the rally in the West Bank.
One soldier was lightly wounded by stones hurled in his direction. A number of Palestinians were also injured in the altercation.
The protesters specifically called for the release of Samer Issawi, who has been on an on-and-off hunger strike for several months.
Issawi was released in 2011 as part of the Gilad Shalit prisoner exchange. He was re-arrested last year for violating his release terms.
Israeli Prison Service spokeswoman Sivan Weizman said Issawi was under medical supervision and has not been on a consistent hunger strike since he eats periodically.
Knesset Member Ahmad Tibi (United Arab List-Ta’al) also took part in the demonstration, as did Khader Adnan, the administrative detainee who was released by Israel a few months ago after he launched a hunger strike that put his life in danger.
Tibi told the protesters that should one of the striking prisoners die, the “entire region will burn, and the occupation will be held accountable for the results.”
Additional protests and riots took place in Hebron, Nabi Saleh and at the Jelma Crossing, north of Jenin. Border Guard officers were preventing some 30 Palestinians from advancing towards the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah. The Palestinians hurled stones at security forces.
Clashes between security forces and Palestinians broke out in several other locations throughout the West Bank on Friday.
At around noon Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas arrived at a protest tent that was pitched in al-Bira, north of Jerusalem, in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
“The dream to release all of the Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails will be realized just like the dream of a state was realized,” he said, and called on Israel to recognize agreements he claimed wee signed years ago with former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert regarding the release of Palestinian prisoners.
Itamar Fleishman and AP contributed to the report.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet’s Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org
View original Ynet publication at: http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-4345421,00.html