RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A number of Palestinians were injured and at least seven were detained on Friday as Israeli forces violently dispersed weekly protests in a number of cities across the West Bank.
Protests against the Israeli occupation and continued settlement expansion on expropriated Palestinian lands took place in Kafr Qaddum, Nabi Saleh, Qaryut, Salim, and al-Masara.
In the village of Kafr Qaddum near Qalqiliya, Israeli forces detained two Palestinians while dispersing a protest headed toward the main entrance of the village, activists said.
Ghalib Hilmi Ishtewi, 23, and Ibrahim Bassam Juma, 21, were detained and physically assaulted by Israeli forces, witnesses said.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said that "40 Palestinians hurled stones, rocks and burning tires, adding that Israeli soldiers used "riot dispersal means in response."
She said that two soldiers were "slightly wounded" and confirmed that two Palestinians were detained and transferred to police.
Protests are held every Friday in Kafr Qaddum against Israel's closure of a main road linking the village to its nearest city, Nablus. The road has been closed since 2000.
In Nabi Saleh village west of Ramallah two Palestinian women and three foreign journalists were detained, while a French protester was lightly injured and dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces opened fire with tear gas canisters on protesters, activists said.
Protesters marched in the village raising Palestinian flags, and chanted songs for unity, Palestinian principles in the ongoing negotiations with Israel and in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons.
Israeli forces fired tear gas, rubber-coated steel bullets, and stun grenades and assaulted participants as they neared their lands that face the threat of confiscation.
An Israeli military spokeswoman said that there had been a "riot" and that five "instigators were taken were security questioning," but were later released.
Activists in Nabi Saleh have been protesting weekly against the occupation for four years, demanding that their lands confiscated by Israeli forces to build the separation wall be returned.
In Qaryut village south of Nablus dozens suffered from excessive tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters, stun grenades and rubber-covered steel bullets at Palestinians protesting the closure of the village's entrance.
Locals said that there were a number of injuries due to the heavy firing of tear gas by Israeli forces.
Israeli forces dispersed a protest in the village of Salim east of Nablus condemning the confiscation of lands by Israeli authorities in order to expand a Jewish-only settlement in the area.
Witnesses said that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at the crowds, causing several people to suffer from suffocation. Al-Masara
In al-Masara village near Bethlehem, Palestinian protesters marched towards village lands that have been confiscated by Israeli authorities but were prevented by Israeli forces.
Protesters raised Palestinian flags and posters of prisoners and chanted songs in support of Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails.
Since 2006, the residents of al-Masara have protested on a weekly basis, demanding Israeli authorities return village lands confiscated in order to build the separation wall as it crosses through their town.
In 2004, the International Court of Justice called on Israel to stop construction of the separation wall within the occupied West Bank.
When completed, 85 percent of the wall will run inside the West Bank.
The internationally recognized Palestinian territories of which the West Bank and East Jerusalem form a part have been occupied by the Israeli military since 1967.