Several Palestinians, 3 journalists hurt in Ofer riots

Palestinians throw stones and roll burning tires, while soldiers fire tear gas and rubber bullets in protest supporting hunger strikers.

Palestinians carry protester injured by IDF (photo credit: REUTERS)
Palestinians carry protester injured by IDF
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Dozens of Palestinians were wounded on Thursday in clashes that broke out with the IDF during a prolonged protest in support of the Palestinian hunger strikers that took place next to Ofer Prison, located outside Ramallah.
Palestinians threw stones at the security forces, and lightly wounded three Israeli journalists – Nadar Bagdasa and Roy Sharon of Channel 10 and Yoram Cohen of Channel 1 – during the protest, which lasted from 11 a.m. until the evening.
During its evening news, Channel 1 showed a clip of Cohen with a bloody face after he was hit in the head.
Videos were posted online showing Bagdasa clutching his chest, after he was hit and evacuated in an ambulance.
Sharon sent out tweets stating that Cohen and Bagdasa were injured, before he tweeted that he, too, had been hit by a stone in the back.
According to Abir Kopty, a spokeswoman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, dozens of Palestinians were injured by tear gas, rubber bullets and rubber-coated bullets. A temporary clinic was set up at the site.
She herself was hit in the head by a tear gas canister, treated in the hospital and then released. While in the hospital, she said, she counted 10 others who were there with injuries from the demonstration, including one protester who was hit by live fire.
The IDF denied that soldiers used live ammunition at Ofer.
The protest started with a prayer, and quickly turned violent, with Palestinians throwing stones and rolling burning tires, while soldiers fired tear gas and rubber bullets.
At times they also used a “skunk truck,” which sprayed foul-smelling water.
Another protest outside Ofer Prison was planned for Friday, as was one in Hebron.
The Hebron rally is partially in solidarity with the hunger strikers and partially a call for Israel to re-open the city’s Shuhada Street to Palestinian traffic.