Palestinians were on Monday observing a general strike in solidarity with prisoners refusing food in Israeli jails for more than a month over their conditions.
Israeli security forces shot and injured at least 11 Palestinian protesters near the Qalandiya checkpoint on Monday, just one day before US President Donald Trump’s official visit to the West Bank, local media reported.
Trump is expected to meet with Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas on Tuesday within the framework of his first foreign trip.
Three Palestinians were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets and 10 others suffocated by teargas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces at Qalandia checkpoint, south of Ramallah.
Another Palestinian was injured by a rubber bullet, while few others, including an elderly, suffocated by teargas during clashes with the Israeli army in the village of Deir Sharaf, west of Nablus.
Several Palestinians were also injured by rubber bullets in clashes with Israeli army in the village of Azzoun, east of Qalqilia in the West Bank. Others, meanwhile, suffocated due to inhaling teargas fired at them by the army.
Another Palestinian was also injured by an Israeli rubber-coated steel bullet during similar clashes in the Ramallah area village of Nabi Saleh. Others also suffocated from teargas inhalation.
The Palestinian Maan news agency reported, citing witnesses and medical sources, that 11 Palestinian protesters, who marched from the West Bank city of Ramallah to Israel’s Qalandiya checkpoint in a show of solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, were fired upon with both live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets.
Tensions between Israel and Palestine have continued to escalate through the years. Currently, Palestinians seek to create an independent state in the West Bank and the withdrawal of Israel from the Palestinian territories it occupied after the Six-Day War in 1967.
The recent escalation between Israel and Palestine sparked in April, after hundreds of Palestinians jailed in Israeli prisons began a hunger strike, demanding better detention conditions.