RAMALLAH, West Bank – Hundreds of Palestinian protesters are squaring off against Israeli security forces in the West Bank at a demonstration in solidarity with Palestinian prisoners held by Israel.
Some 2,000 people gathered at the Beitunia military checkpoint on Thursday, hoping to march to a nearby military prison. When the military prevented them from proceeding, protesters began throwing stones and burning tires. Israeli soldiers are responding with rubber-coated bullets and tear gas to disperse the crowd.
The Israeli military estimates the crowd size at about 300 people and says it is using nonlethal means to break up what it calls a violent riot.
Palestinians have staged protests across the West Bank all week in solidarity with the 4,500 prisoners held by Israel. They consider the prisoners heroes in a struggle against Israeli occupation.