A US citizen sustained head injuries and an Israeli protester’s arm was broken on Friday as Israeli forces violently shut down a rally in Nabi Saleh, activists said.
An American was rushed to hospital for surgery on a head wound after Israeli troops fired a tear-gas grenade at his head at close range, witnesses said. Following surgery, his condition was stable, activists added.
Onlookers said an Israeli activist’s arm was broken when forces fired a gas grenade directly at him, while dozens choked on tear gas.
Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah, hosts weekly anti-wall rallies to protest Israel’s confiscation of village land. Friday’s protest commemorated the 63rd anniversary of the Nakba, or catastrophe, when Palestinians were expelled from their homes as the State of Israel was established.
Israeli forces detained two women from the village and two activists during the rally, witnesses said.
Clashes continued for several hours, and activists said troops were extremely violent, adding that there were not enough ambulances to cope with those injured.
An Israeli military spokesman said no one was injured by the crowd-dispersal measures that he said were used to break up the protest.
The same army official added one person was being treated for a head wound "but it was not the result of IDF fire."
He insisted that soldiers did not beat any protesters at the rally.
Video footage, which activists say was taken at the rally on Friday, shows Israeli border police — seen in grey uniforms — beating protesters with batons.
A spokesman for the border police referred questions on the incident to Israeli national police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld, who could not be reached for comment.