Hundreds of Palestinians injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers in West Bank: medics

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At least 216 Palestinians were injured on Monday during clashes with the Israeli soldiers southeast of the West Bank city of Nablus, Palestinian medics said.

Fierce clashes broke out between anti-settlement protesters and Israeli soldiers in the village of Beita, said the Palestinian Red Crescent Society in a statement, adding that 22 people were shot by rubber bullets, while dozens inhaled teargas fired by Israeli troops.

The clashes broke out after seven Israeli ministers, 20 Israeli parliament members, and more than 17,000 Israeli settlers organized a march towards the outpost of "Avatar," an unpermitted outpost in the northern West Bank, to demand legalizing it.

Palestinian eyewitnesses and Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who is in charge of the settlement affairs in the northern West Bank, told Xinhua that thousands of Israeli settlers organized "a provocative march towards the outpost of Avatar near Nablus."

The Palestinian protesters waved flags, chanted slogans against Israel, burned tires, and threw stones at the Israeli soldiers, who fired teargas and rubber bullets to disperse them, they added.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, the spokesman of the Palestinian presidency, said in a press statement that Palestine condemned the settlers' march in the West Bank was organized with the participation of ministers in the Israeli government.

"The settlers' invasion does not change the fact that it is Palestinian land and will remain so, and that this invasion, which comes by force of arms, does not create a right," he said.

Abu Rudeineh held the Israeli government responsible for Israeli settlers' and soldiers' daily attacks on the Palestinians, and "the U.S. silence encouraged the (Israeli) occupation," calling for immediate and rapid intervention to stop it.

Israel's National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, also a settler and leader of the extreme-right Jewish Power party, said in a speech at the march that its aim was "to say that the nation of Israel is strong" and that "we are here and will remain here."

The march took place amid mounting violence between Israelis and Palestinians, which was sparked by Israeli police raids on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound last week. The raids came at a sensitive time when Muslims are observing the holy month of Ramadan, while Jews were celebrating the Passover holiday.

More than 600,000 Israeli settlers live in dozens of settlements, which were established after Israel occupied the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 1967.

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