Israel forces injure 18 Palestinians during West Bank clashes

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In this file photo, Palestinians clash with Israeli forces at Qalandia refugee camp, situated between occupied East Jerusalem al-Quds and Ramallah.
Nearly 20 Palestinians have sustained injuries when fresh clashes erupted between separate groups of Palestinian protesters and Israeli military forces in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.

The Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) said 18 people were wounded during clashes in the villages of Beta and Burin southeast of Nablus late on Saturday. One of the victims is in critical condition.

Eyewitnesses, speaking on condition of anonymity, said Israeli military jeeps rolled into the village of Beta amid escort by infantry units, and were deployed in several streets.

Violence broke out when dozens of Palestinian youths threw stones at Israeli troops, who fired stun grenades and tear gas to disperse the crowd.

A number of local residents suffered teargas inhalation during the skirmishes in several neighborhoods of the village.

Local sources said Israeli forces arrested a young Palestinian man, identified as Ramiz Iyad Duweikat, before withdrawing from the areas.

Elsewhere in the village of Burin, Israeli soldiers fired shots and used tear gas against Palestinians.

One of the tear gas canisters reportedly fell into the family home of Emad Asaus, leaving the members. including a pregnant woman, in recurrent coughs and wheezing.

Israeli military sources reported that an Israeli soldier was moderately wounded during the mayhem in Burin.

The occupied territories have witnessed a fresh bout of tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

Palestinians say Tel Aviv seeks to change the status quo of the site, which is Islam’s third holiest site after Masjid al-Haram in Mecca and Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina in Saudi Arabia. It is also highly respected by Jews and Christians.

More than 230 Palestinians, including 45 children, have been killed and some 12,000 others wounded at the hands of Israeli forces since last October, when the occupied territories saw a surge in tensions between the two sides.

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