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Protesters in solidarity with hunger-strikers dispersed by Israeli forces

(ANHRI/IFEX) - The Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) strongly denounces the use of excessive force by Israeli forces during marches that took place in certain areas of the West Bank in a show of solidarity with hunger-striking Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.

Several demonstrators and photographers were wounded.

The demonstrations took place on 15 February 2013. At Ofer military prison, Israeli forces' use of both rubber and live ammunition led to the wounding of several protestors.

In Al-Quds (Jerusalem), Israeli forces dispersed demonstrators in solidarity with prisoner Samer El-Essawy — who has been on hunger strike for more than 200 days now — using sound bombs and rubber bullets. Seven of the demonstrators were wounded and sent to the hospital.

In the El-Jelmah prison near the city of Jenin, four Palestinian demonstrators were wounded and several were suffocating due to the effects of tear gas used by the Israeli forces against them. Ten protesters were arrested.

"The occupational authorities' assault on peaceful demonstrators is a serious violation of the international treaties which guarantee freedom of expression and freedom of assembly," stated ANHRI.

The organisation added, “the arbitrary arrests conducted by the occupational forces against the Palestinian people is a serious violation of all the adopted legal norms. The reasons for detaining the people held in custody must be reviewed and lawyers must be provided to defend them. A legal duration for their arrests must be determined and a fair trial must be guaranteed to them."

ANHRI calls on the Israeli authorities to immediately release all detainees and hold those responsible for the wounding of demonstrators accountable.

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