Israeli forces injure dozens in West Bank protests, say Palestinian doctors

Israeli forces wounded nearly 90 people in protests in the occupied West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

At least one Palestinian was shot in the leg and taken to hospital, while others suffered injuries from stun grenades, rubber-coated bullets and inhalation of tear gas, the statement added.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry released a statement condemning Israel’s “repression”, saying local residents were protesting the expansion of Jewish settlements and the confiscation of Palestinian land.

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The worst clashes took place in the town of Huwara, in the central West Bank, near the city of Nablus.

Videos posted on social media this week showed Jewish settlers and Israeli soldiers tearing down Palestinian flags in the city. In response, Palestinians organized a march with people waving flags, leading to clashes with Israeli forces.

“What is happening in Huwara is a provocation by the settlers,” Mohammad Abdelhameed, a member of Huwara’s council, told Reuters. “We hang the Palestinian flag, which is a symbol of our identity and will remain flying as long as we are on this earth.”

Israeli law does not prohibit Palestinian flags, but police and soldiers regularly remove them from public areas.

Hamas in Gaza has warned of another war if an annual “flag” march held by Israeli nationalists in Jerusalem’s Old City passes through the Muslim quarter on Sunday.

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