Palestinians in West Bank clash with IDF on ‘Prisoners Day’
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Palestinians in West Bank clash with IDF on ‘Prisoners Day’

Protesters throw stones, troops respond with riot-dispersal means; one demonstrator said injured

A Palestinian woman holds a portrait of a prisoner during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners Day outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 17, 2015.  (Photo credit: AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)
A Palestinian woman holds a portrait of a prisoner during a rally marking Palestinian Prisoners Day outside the Dome of the Rock at the Al-Aqsa mosque compound in Jerusalem's Old City, on April 17, 2015. (Photo credit: AFP / AHMAD GHARABLI)

Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli troops in the northern West Bank on Friday during annual demonstrations marking Palestinian ‘Prisoners Day’.

More than 100 Palestinians rallied near Israel’s security barrier in the village of Bil’in, with some throwing stones before soldiers used tear gas to disperse the crowd, according to the AFP.

One protester was wounded, a correspondent reported, speculating that it was either from a gas canister or a rubber bullet.

Prisoners Day is marked every year in solidarity with the more than 6,000 Palestinian security prisoners in Israeli jails.

“We will not leave our prisoners in jail alone,” rally organizer Abdullah Abu Rahma said.

“We will defend their right to be released, because the majority of them have been arrested illegally by Israeli forces,” he claimed.

Hamas on Thursday called for the abduction of Israelis, who would be swapped for Palestinians held by the Jewish state.

“We tell the Zionist enemy: you are all a target for us and the resistance, we will fight you until we finally get rid of you and take as many captives as possible to free our heroes,” said Khalil al-Haya, whose Islamist movement rules the Palestinian enclave.

“Our men, our women, our children all envision kidnapping your soldiers and settlers, wherever they are,” he said on the eve of Prisoners Day on April 17.

During the last round of US-backed peace talks in 2013 and 2014, Israel freed dozens of long-term inmates, many of them convicted murderers, as a gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

After the negotiations broke down, and following the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank last June, Israel arrested hundreds more, many of them Hamas members. A Hamas cell was responsible for the abduction and murders.

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