0543 GMT March 19, 2018
Gaza Health Ministry spokesman Ashraf al-Qidra said dozens of people had converged east of the city of Beit Lahia to express solidarity with hundreds of Palestinians, who have gone on hunger strike in Israeli jails in protest at the Tel Aviv regime’s administrative detention policy and harsh prison conditions.
A 21-year-old demonstrator sustained grave injuries to his leg after Israeli forces hurled an explosive device at the crowd.
Israeli soldiers, stationed at watchtowers and tanks positioned in the vicinity of Kissufim military base, also fired shots at Palestinian protesters, leaving one injured, who was taken to Nasser Hospital in Khan Younis to receive medical treatment.
Four Palestinian civilians were also wounded after Israeli soldiers fired live bullets at them near the Nahal Oz border crossing. They were transferred to Shifa Hospital in western Gaza City.
Two others were wounded east of Jabalia refugee camp.
Elsewhere in the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem, Israeli forces disguised as Palestinian protesters kidnapped six young Palestinian men after infiltrating a crowd of protesters.
Israeli forces fired teargas canisters and sound bombs at Palestinian marchers, causing many to suffer from severe teargas inhalation.
At least seven Palestinians were struck with live and rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes in the villages of Nilin and Abud, as well as Qalandiya military checkpoint.
Spokesman for the Palestine Red Crescent Society in Nablus, Ahmad Jibreel, also said a Palestinian man was hit in the thigh with a live bullet, while three others were injured with rubber-coated steel bullets during clashes in the northern West Bank town of Beita, located 13 kilometers southeast of Nablus.
The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.
More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the ongoing tensions since the beginning of October 2015.
The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.
The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.