Palestinian protesters blocked roads outside of Ramallah for the second straight day on Monday, demonstrating in solidarity with prisoners currently hunger-striking in Israeli jails.
Those present told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency that holding up commuters was “an attempt to make them remember the suffering of Palestinian prisoners.”
Israeli authorities say 894 Palestinian prisoners have kept up the strike, while Palestinian officials say more than 1,000 are refusing food and anything but salt water in protest of prison conditions.
The protesters burned tires and dumpsters to block the roads, according to Ma’an.
Clashes broke out when Palestinian Authority security forces arrived to reopen the road to the hundreds of vehicles that had been stuck in the standstill.
Activists blocked highways in various other locations around Ramallah, including outside of the Jalazoun refugee camp and outside the village of Kafr Aqab on a road leading to the Qalandiya checkpoint.
There were earlier reports of roadblocks extending from the Tapuah junction to the Samaria Regional Brigade Headquarters in the northern West Bank, preventing traffic in both directions. Those roads reopened later Monday morning.
The demonstrations coincided with Nakba Day, marking the “catastrophe” that was the creation of the State of Israel. Israeli for Israeli security services have been on high alert expecting broad Palestinian demonstrations across the West Bank.
These protests occasionally turn violent, resulting in clashes between Palestinians and Israeli security forces. In 2014, two Palestinian teenagers were shot dead by a Border Police officer who replaced his less-lethal rounds, used to disperse riots, with full live-fire bullets.
Hunger strike leader Marwan Barghouti, a Fatah political leader and convicted terrorist serving five life terms for murder, issued a letter Sunday urging Palestinians to carry out acts of “civil disobedience” to commemorate the day.
Judah Ari Gross contributed to this report.