Palestinians riot near West Bank’s Ofer Prison
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Palestinians riot near West Bank’s Ofer Prison

1,000 protesters throw stones and roll burning tires at Israeli forces; smaller demos in Hebron, Qaddum, Rachel's Tomb

A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl a stone towards Israeli soldiers during clashes outside Israel's Ofer military prison, in the West Bank, April 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
A Palestinian man uses a slingshot to hurl a stone towards Israeli soldiers during clashes outside Israel's Ofer military prison, in the West Bank, April 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Some 1,000 Palestinians held a violent protest in the village of Beitunia, near the Ofer Prison, on Friday.

The demonstrators threw stones and rolled burning tires toward nearby Israeli security forces, who responded with crowd dispersal measures.

Five Palestinians were injured, according to Israeli sources. Palestinians reported 13 injured.

The West Bank’s Ofer Prison holds up to 800 Palestinian prisoners at one time. It was the site of previous prisoner releases related to the current round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

A Palestinian protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes outside the Ofer military prison near Ramallah, April 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)
A Palestinian protester throws back a tear gas canister fired by Israeli soldiers during clashes outside the Ofer military prison near Ramallah, April 4, 2014. (photo credit: Issam Rimawi/Flash90)

Demonstrations also took place Friday in Hebron, Kafr Qaddum and near Rachel’s Tomb.

Near the village of Mevo Dotan, in the northern West Bank, Palestinians threw several Molotov cocktails at an empty bus, causing some damage.

Israel this week canceled the planned release of a fourth group of Palestinian prisoners without guarantees from Ramallah for an extension of the nine-month negotiating period, which is due to end at the end of April.

In a proposed trilateral deal, Israel reportedly offered to release some 400 additional prisoners, and the US reportedly offered to free longtime Israeli prisoner and convicted spy Jonathan Pollard, if the Palestinians committed to more talks. In a surprise move, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas rejected the reported offer and applied instead to 15 international treaties and conventions, thereby taking a significant unilateral step which left peace talks all but dead in the water.

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