Clashes on Friday between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters occurred in a number of villages and cities across the West Bank, including Ramallah, Hebron, Nablus and Bethlehem.
During the clashes, Israeli forces reportedly opened fire on protesters using a combination of live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets. At least 38 Palestinians were shot and injured in the violence, according to local Ma’an News Agency.
Of those injured, one protester who was shot in the chest in the village of Sinjil, near Ramallah, died in the hospital of his wounds. Another protester shot in the head at the Beit Einun junction near Hebron is in critical condition, Ma’an reported.
Meanwhile, Israeli forces on Friday shot and killed a Palestinian protester during clashes in the Gaza Strip and injured at least 40 others, according to the territory’s ministry of health.
Citing a health official, Ma’an reported the deceased as Mahmoud Muhammad Saed al-Agha, 20, of Khan Younis in southern Gaza.
The recent surge in violence broke out in early October after Israel imposed restrictions on worshipers at Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem. After the restrictions were implemented, four Israelis were killed in two attacks blamed on Palestinians. Israeli settlers in the West Bank responded by rioting, assaulting Palestinians and destroying their property. A spate of protests, clashes and retaliatory stabbings have ensued.
Since the beginning of October, at least 129 Palestinians and 19 Israelis have been killed. Thousands of Palestinians have also been injured in clashes with Israeli forces, overwhelming the Red Crescent and local medical facilities.
Palestinian protesters are calling for unrestricted access to worship at Al-Aqsa, a site also revered by Jews as the location of two ancient temples. The protesters also demand an end to Israel’s decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territories and the cessation of settlement building, both of which are illegal under international law.
Al Jazeera and wire services