Dozens of Palestinians Hurt in West Bank Clashes With Israeli Forces Amid Trump Visit

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Confrontations near Hebron, February 22, 2017.
Confrontations near Hebron, February 22, 2017.Credit: Hazem Bader / AFP

Dozens of Palestinians were injured while rallying across the West Bank on Monday as U.S. President Donald Trump arrived to Israel.

Palestinians on Monday gathered near Israeli military checkpoints in support of 850 Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli detention on hunger strike for more than a month.

The protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers, who, according to witnesses, showered them with tear gas.

A day of rage was also called by the Palestinian prisoners committee for Tuesday, the day Trump is scheduled to visit the West Bank city of Bethlehem for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

The call includes closing down roads and clashing with Israeli soldiers at military checkpoints.

Shops and businesses were shut down, public transportation came to a total halt, and schools were closed as the public rallied on Monday. 

Clashes in Deir Sharaf, near Nablus, February 22, 2017.Credit: Jaafer Ashtiyeh / AFP

At least nine Palestinians were shot and injured, one seriously, at the Kalandia checkpoint which links Jerusalem and the northern West Bank, the Maan news agency reported on Monday. Three Palestinians were reportedly wounded by live fire while a further six were injured after being shot by rubber bullets. Tens of Palestinians also suffered from smoke inhalation and 18 were treated after inhaling tear gas, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent Society.

Palestinian minor shot dead in attempted stabbing

A Palestinian minor was also shot dead on Monday after attempting to stab a police officer in the East Jerusalem town of Abu Dis, Border Police have reported.

No other injuries were reported in the incident. 

According to the Border Police, a Palestinian resident of Bethlehem arrived at a checkpoint in the East Jerusalem town and ran towards the policemen. When they saw the man running towards them he reportedly pulled out a knife and attempted to stab one of them.

The policeman who was attacked reportedly shot the perpetrator "at the end of a short struggle."

Yesterday, the Israel Prison Service evacuated 60 Palestinian hunger strikers to hospital due to their medical conditions while 592 hunger strikers were transferred to prison medical facilities for observation. The Israel Prison Service reports that there are currently 850 Palestinian prisoners on hunger strike in Israel's prisons.

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