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Second day of clashes Palestinian youth protest Gaza killings in Al Khalil

Saturday 31 March 2018, International Solidarity Movement al-Khalil/Hebron, Occupied West Bank, Palestine.

Palestinian youth protested the killings in Gaza at Checkpoint 56. The Israeli soldiers fired teargas, stun grenades and live ammunition. Beginning at 8AM Palestinian youth took to the streets of al-Khalil/Hebron to protest the killings and injuries inflicted by the Israeli military on the non-violent demonstrators in Gaza during the Great Return March. They protested outside Checkpoint 56. The Israeli soldiers took to the rooftops overlooking the area and threw more than fifty stun grenades and more than thirty teargas canisters at the youth during the day.

Toward the end of the afternoon a contingent of soldiers, as always in full battle dress: helmets, bulletproof vests, automatic rifles and ammunition, attempted to cut off the youth at the rear. Failing that, the soldiers illegally went far up in H1, the Palestinian controlled part of town. There they fired stun grenades, teargas and live ammunition in the heavily traveled commercial area of town before returning to their base having accomplished nothing. The confrontation between the protesting youth and the Israeli soldiers continued with more stun grenades and teargas.

Later in the evening, the youth were warned that the soldiers were once again attempting to cut them off in the rear. When the soldiers arrived on the scene, the youth had scattered. The returning soldiers stopped and roughly searched a youth in the nearby market letting him go when it became apparent that he was an innocent bystander. Retreating further, the soldiers grabbed, searched and showed two additional youth who were sat calmly on stairs to the watching rooftop soldiers, they claimed to identify the older of the two. The soldiers released the younger of the two boys. Four soldiers then violently wrestled the nineteen-year-old boy to the ground, handcuffed him behind his back and two soldiers hauled him off and through Checkpoint 56 surrounded by the rest of the Israeli soldiers. International Solidarity Movement volunteers who had been on the scene during the day testified that this boy had not been part of the demonstration but was an innocent bystander grabbed by the frustrated soldiers.

The actions of the soldiers throughout the day with the use of lots of stun grenades, teargas and even live ammunition is an example of the continuing use of excessive force by Israeli occupation forces.