Israeli forces injure 9 Palestinians in West Bank

Israeli forces take aim towards Palestinian protesters during clashes following a demonstration at Aida refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem on September 15, 2017. (Photos by AFP)
Israeli forces take aim towards Palestinian protesters during clashes following a demonstration at Aida refugee camp near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem on September 15, 2017. (Photos by AFP)

At least nine people have sustained injuries after Israeli military forces stormed a town near the occupied Jerusalem al-Quds, and engaged in clashes with a group of local residents.

Hani Halabia, a local activist, said the Israeli troops raided Abu Dis on Wednesday, triggering clashes with the locals. The soldiers fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse the crowd, forcing schools and classes at al-Quds University to close.

Halabia added that school children suffered breathing difficulties and had to be evacuated from schools as tear gas smoke had covered the area.

The activist further noted that one protester was struck by a live bullet, while the others were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets.

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

A Palestinian man runs during a demonstration as Israeli soldiers try to catch him in the occupied West Bank city of al-Khalil (Hebron) on September 15, 2017.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the beginning of October 2015.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.