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Palestinian protesters, Israeli troops clash at West Bank march in solidarity with prisoners

  • 0b2335530ca3f906290f6a7067005dcf.jpg

    A masked Palestinian throws back a gas canister previously shoot by Israeli forces, not pictured, during a protest to support Palestinian prisoners, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers at a rally Tuesday in support of four imprisoned Palestinians on hunger strike, as hundreds of inmates said they were refusing food for the day in solidarity with the fasting inmates. One of the four hunger-striking Palestinians is 35-year-old Samer Issawi whose health has severely deteriorated after he has refused food, on-and-off, for more than 200 days. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) (The Associated Press)

  • 00ba77220ca4f906290f6a7067009ffe.jpg

    Masked Palestinians use a back car seat as a shield during a protest to support Palestinian prisoners, outside Ofer, an Israeli military prison near the West Bank city of Ramallah, Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013. Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli soldiers at a rally Tuesday in support of four imprisoned Palestinians on hunger strike, as hundreds of inmates said they were refusing food for the day in solidarity with the fasting inmates. One of the four hunger-striking Palestinians is 35-year-old Samer Issawi whose health has severely deteriorated after he has refused food, on-and-off, for more than 200 days. (AP Photo/Bernat Armangue) (The Associated Press)

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.

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