BETHLEHEM, Monday, April 18, 2022 (WAFA) – Two Palestinians sustained gunshot injuries and dozens others suffocated as Israeli forces Sunday evening quelled Prisoners’ Day protests in Bethlehem and Hebron districts.
WAFA correspondent said that dozens of Palestinians participated in a rally that took off from Bab Zqaq area on the Bethlehem-Hebron Street to mark to mark Palestinian Prisoners’ Day.
The participants in the rally, one of several held across the occupied territories, held banner showing solidarity with prisoners in Israeli custody.
Israeli soldiers cracked down on the rally that headed to the northern entrance of the city, hitting a participant by a live round and causing dozens to suffocate from tear gas.
Palestinian Red Crescent medics confirmed that the casualty was hospitalized for moderate injuries from a live round in the foot.
Meanwhile, scores others converged at Bab Az-Zawiya area in Hebron city to demand that Israel immediately release prisoners.
The heavily-deployed soldiers violently dispersed the participants in the rally, injuring one by a live round and causing dozens others to suffocate.
In the meantime, a Palestinian sustained gunshot injuries in confrontations with Israeli police in the East Jerusalem neighborhood of al-Tur.
According to the latest figures from Addameer, the Palestinian Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, there are currently 4,450 Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli prisons and detention centers.
This number includes approximately 530 Palestinians placed under “administrative detention”, that allows the detention of Palestinians without charge or trial for renewable intervals ranging between three and six months based on undisclosed evidence that even a detainee’s lawyer is barred from viewing.
Since the beginning of 2022, Israeli forces have inflicted a campaign of collective punishment on the northern West Bank city of Jenin via violent mass arrest, arresting over 200 of the city's residents, with 100 arrests taking place in March alone. According to the Palestinian Prisoners’ Society, some 500 Palestinians from Jenin, including three women and around 10 children, are currently in Israeli jails.
Mass arrest of Palestinians is nothing new. According to a 2017 report by Addameer, over the past 50 years, more than 800,000 Palestinians have been imprisoned or detained by Israel, this figure is now believed to be closer to 1 million. This means that about 40% of Palestinian men and boys living under military occupation have been deprived of their freedom. Almost every Palestinian family has suffered the imprisonment of a loved one.