Israeli Forces Trigger Clashes in Tulkarm Town, Injuries Reported

TULKARM, March 24, 2015 (WAFA) – Israeli forces Tuesday stormed the town of Bala’a to the east of Tulkarm, triggering clashes with local Palestinian residents, according to witnesses.

They told WAFA that a number of Israeli military jeeps stormed the area and fired heavy tear gas canisters towards residents, spurring clashes. Several residents, including children, suffocated due to tear gas inhalation. All injuries were treated at the scene.

An increasing number of unarmed and peaceful Palestinians were either killed or seriously injured as a result of Israel’s constant use of tear gas against Palestinians.

Early December 2014, Palestinian minister without portfolio Zeyad Abu Ein died due to tear gas inhalation and after being directly hit in the chest by an Israeli soldier during a peaceful protest marking the United Nations International Year of Solidarity with the Palestinian People. He was transferred to hospital where he was pronounced dead shortly afterwards.

Palestinian Bedouin Sami Ibrahim Zayadna, 45, died in January 2015 after inhaling tear gas fired by Israeli police at mourners during the funeral of Sami al-Ajar, a Palestinian citizen of Israel who was killed a week earlier by police in the southern town of Rahat.

B’Tselem, the Israeli human rights information center, stated that “[Israeli] soldiers and Border Police often fire tear-gas grenades directly at demonstrators with the aim of hitting them, or fire carelessly, without ensuring that demonstrators are not in the direct line of fire, in direct contravention of regulations.”

The legal center, in a summary report published in 2013, demanded that Israeli security forces “completely prohibit the firing of 40mm tear-gas canisters either directly at individuals or horizontally, in a way that could cause result in injuries.”