Palestinians Injured, Dozens Suffocate as Israeli Forces Crush March near Hebron

HEBRON, January 17, 2015 (WAFA) – Several Palestinians were injured Saturday and dozens others suffocated as Israeli forces crushed a peaceful march to the north of Surif town, north of Hebron, said local activists and WAFA correspondent.

Israeli forces attacked and attempted to crush a peaceful march that was organized by the popular committee against the wall and settlement in the southern West Bank, brutally assaulting participants using the butts of their rifles, spraying them with pepper spray, and firing tear gas canisters and stun grenades at them. Several Palestinians were injured and dozens others suffocated as a result of inhaling excessive tear gas.

The march was organized to protest the ongoing closure of the road linking Surif with al-Jab‘a village to the southwest of Bethlehem.

Coordinator of the Popular Committee against the Wall and Settlement in Hebron Rateb al-Jabour said that the march was intended to protest the ongoing closure and siege imposed on Palestinian communities in that areas, especially communities located adjacent to illegal settlements, as well as the seizure of 2,000 dunums of land belonging to Surif for the benefit of settlement expansion.

Several activists were briefly detained by soldiers, including Ahmad al-Hih and Loai Ghnaimat.

Marchers demanded that the removal of the metal gate that have been installed for the last fourteen years by Israeli forces between Surif and al-Jab‘a.