RAMALLAH, Palestine (AA) - Dozens of Palestinians were injured on Friday in separate clashes -- in both the Israeli-occupied West Bank and the blockaded Gaza Strip -- between Israeli forces and Palestinian demonstrators.
Palestinians demonstrated in both territories to show solidarity with Palestinians imprisoned by Israel who have been waging a hunger strike for the past 33 days.
"Three Palestinians were injured by live ammunition -- and another eleven by rubber bullets -- in clashes that erupted in the West Bank cities of Ramallah, Nablus and Bethlehem," the West Bank-based Palestinian Health Ministry said in a statement.
“Four other Palestinians were injured by rubber bullets in clashes that erupted at the Qalandia checkpoint and in the town of Abu Dis near Jerusalem,” it added.
The ministry went on to note that 40 other Palestinians had suffered temporary asphyxia due to the excessive use of teargas by Israeli forces.
Friday’s demonstrations were organized by the National Committee to Support the Hunger Strike, which includes representatives of several Palestinian political factions.
In the Gaza Strip, meanwhile, several other Palestinian youths were injured in confrontations with Israeli army troops on the strip’s borders, according to a Palestinian official.
“Seven Palestinians were injured in clashes with Israeli forces at a number of points along Gaza’s border,” Ashraf al-Qidra, a spokesman for Gaza’s Health Ministry, told Anadolu Agency.
"The injured were taken to nearby hospitals," al-Qidra said, noting that at least two of them were in serious condition.
Different Palestinian factions have called for staging additional marches near Gaza’s borders on Thursday evening to show solidarity with jailed hunger strikers.
Led by jailed resistance icon Marwan Barghouti, more than 1,600 Palestinian prisoners began an open-ended hunger strike on April 17 to demand better prison conditions.
According to Palestinian figures, Israel is currently holding more than 6,500 Palestinians -- including scores of women and children -- at 24 detention centers across the country.