At least 247 Palestinians were injured today and many others were suffocated from teargas by Israeli soldiers who locked down the main entrance to the village of Burqa in the occupied West Bank districts of Nablus, according to local sources.
The shutdown of the village entrance came as the Israeli occupation army reinforced its presence in the Nablus-Jenin road, which is close to the village, to secure dozens of busloads packed with Israeli settlers who made a provocative tour of Homesh, north of the village, an Israeli settlement which was evacuated in 2005.
The Israeli soldiers clashed with scores of Palestinian protesters who were infuriated by the shutdown of the village entrance, and fired live bullets, rubber-coated rounds, stun grenades, and teargas to disperse them, injuring at least 10 Palestinians with gunfire and another 48 protesters by rubber-coated rounds. Many cases of suffocation from teargas were reported.
Wafa Awwad, a photojournalist working with WAFA Agency, was injured by a rubber-coated round while covering the clashes.
Those wounded by live bullets were evacuated to a hospital in the nearby city of Nablus for medical treatment, and the condition of one of them was described as critical.
Similar clashes also erupted in the meantime at the entrance to the neighboring village of Bazariya as the settlers, protected by the military, were making their way past the village towards Homesh. No injuries were reported.
Over the last few days, Israeli settlers protected by the army attacked and attempted to raid homes of Palestinian citizens at the outskirts of the village of Burqa, which is close to the route leading to Homesh.
Meanwhile in Salfit province, in the middle of the West Bank, Israeli occupation forces confiscated a bulldozer for a Palestinian farmer, who was identified as Taleb Harb, while the latter was working in his own farm outside the village of Iskaka.