24 Palestinians Injured in Protests Demanding Prisoner Release

Published May 13th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

At least 24 Palestinian youths were wounded, two of them by live rounds, in clashes with Israeli troops Saturday following demonstrations demanding the release of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, Palestinian medical sources said. 

In Tulkarem, two demonstrators were wounded by conventional bullets and 19 by rubber bullets, a source at the Palestinian Red Crescent organization said. 

Three more were hurt in a similar clash in the center of Hebron city.  

It brought the casualty toll in two days of similar clashes to at least 43. 

Violent clashes between the two sides in the West Bank towns of Ramallah and Bethlehem Friday left 19 Palestinians hospitalized, including a child of seven. 

The marches were part of a week of activities organized by prisoner advocacy groups to raise awareness of the prisoners, many of whom have been on an indefinite hunger strike since Monday. 

Six hundred and thirty prisoners, jailed for violent protests against the peace process with Israel, have been on hunger strike for five days, according to Eissa Qaraqa, head of the Palestinian Prisoners Club in Bethlehem. 

Another 80 prisoners have refused food since the beginning of the month. 

Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat said the question of the prisoners held in Israel figured "at the top of the priority list of the Palestinian leadership in its negotiations with Israel." - (AFP) 


© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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