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Palestinian protesters injured in West Bank clashes

Gaza, July 18 (IANS) Dozens of Palestinians were injured clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank against the Israel government's annexation plan of the Jordan Valley, medical sources said.

The sources told Xinhua news agency that Israeli soldiers on Friday fired rubber-coated metal bullets and tear gas canisters to disperse dozens of Palestinian protesters on the outskirts of the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

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The soldiers' gunfire wounded several demonstrators and dozens got suffocated after they inhaled tear gas, they said.

The National Commission to Resist the Wall and Settlements organises weekly protests and demonstrations against the Israeli confiscation of lands in the West Bank.

Walid Assaf, head of the Commission, told Xinhua that protesters will carry on peaceful demonstrations against the Israeli decision to build up a settlement post on the top of Mount Ebal in Nablus.

Also on Friday, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad organized a march in Gaza city against the annexation plan.

Khader Habib, one of the group's leaders, told reporters that the Islamic Jihad has warned Israel not to close Bab al-Rahma gate of the Al-Aqsa Mosque in East Jerusalem and turn it into a synagogue.

Israel occupied East Jerusalem, in which the Al-Aqsa Mosque is located, during the 1967 Arab-Israel War.

The government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has planned to annex Jewish settlements in the West Bank as well as the strategic Jordan Valley.

It is still unclear whether the Israeli government intends to follow through with the plans to apply Israeli law over contentious territories in the West Bank and to what extent.

The Palestinians, who claim all of the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, have rejected the idea.

More than 600,000 Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem.

–IANS

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