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Activists protesting against the construction of the West Bank separation barrier in the village of Bil'in on Friday afternoon said Israel Defense Forces soldiers threw stun and tear gas grenades at them before they even started to demonstrate.

The IDF denied the activists' allegations.

The activists said large numbers of soldiers entered the village an hour before the planned protest and began throwing the stun and tear gas grenades once Muslim prayers were completed.

Yonatan Polak, head of the "Anarchists Against the Fence" movement, said: "I saw two tear gas grenades and one stun grenade fired into the mosque itself. A large force of soldiers entered the village very suddenly. There was no stone-throwing on the part of the protesters until the soldiers started to make use of riot dispersion weapons."

The activists also claimed they found evidence soldiers opened fire with live ammunition.

Following the incident, the planned protest began. Four activists were wounded and six were arrested during the demonstration. Soldiers subsequently placed a curfew on the village.

Protests in Bil'in against the fence have been held every week for the past number of months. In the past, clashes between protesters and security forces took place outside the village's residential area ? at the fence worksite itself.