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PA's Fayyad tear-gassed by IDF in Bil'in protest

March 1, 2013 19:03

PA prime minister hit by tear gas when clashes break out between protesters, IDF; hundreds riot throughout West Bank.

Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad (C) reacts from tear gas fired by IDF duriing Bilin protest

Fayyad tear gassed 370. (photo credit:REUTERS)

Palestinian protesters and Israeli security forces clashed at a rally marking the eighth anniversary of weekly protests against the security barrier in Bil’in, west of Ramallah, on Friday.

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad and other Palestinian leaders attended the rally and were hit by tear gas that security forces fired at rioters.

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The Bethlehem-based Ma’an News Agency reported that several Palestinians were injured in the Bil’in protest and in minor riots throughout the West Bank sparked by the death of Palestinian stone-thrower Arafat Jaradat in Megiddo Prison last week and in solidarity with hunger-striking security prisoners.

In Hebron, some 200 Palestinians protested and threw rocks, and soldiers used crowd dispersal means, the IDF said.

Palestinians rioted at several additional locations across the West Bank, including Nabi Salih and Beitunya, both near Ramallah, and Kafr Kaddum, located between Nablus and Kalkilya. Soldiers used tear gas and rubber bullets against the rioters, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said.

At least one Palestinian was seriously wounded in the head by a rubber bullet, a Palestinian ambulance worker said.

Gazans rioted near the border fence with Israel on Friday, firing guns in the direction of soldiers, and throwing stones and firebombs, the IDF Spokesman’s Office said. No soldiers were wounded, but an IDF vehicle was lightly damaged. IDF return fire hit three Palestinians, military sources said.

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Benny Gantz on Friday played down the probability of protests escalating into a third intifada.

“There is a lot of talk about a third intifada...

I do not think that we are seeing such a thing developing,” Gantz said. “We know how to contain these events properly.”

Reuters contributed to this report.
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