Palestinian student wounded in head by Israeli tear gas canister

A Palestinian student has been seriously wounded after being hit in the head by a tear gas canister fired by Israeli troops during a protest rally in the occupied west bank.

The incident occurred Monday after Israeli forces used tear gas to disperse Palestinians rallying in support of a female prisoner on hunger strike in the city of Ramallah.

Medics said that 20-year-old Mohammed Abu Awad remained in critical condition at Ramallah’s main hospital.

Israeli military claimed that its troops opened fire on protesters after they “threw rocks at an IDF post” five kilometers north of Ramallah.

The Palestinians held the demonstration to voice support for Hanaa al-Shalabi, a prisoner who has been on hunger strike since February 16 to protest her “administrative detention,” a military procedure which allows suspects to be held indefinitely without charge.

The female prisoner is one of the detainees re-arrested by Israeli forces over the past few weeks. The detainees were freed from Israeli jails in October and December of last year under a deal mediated by Egypt to free 1,027 Palestinian inmates in exchange for Hamas-captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch have repeatedly called on the Israeli regime to immediately release the Palestinian detainees held in administrative detention.

Amnesty has also urged Tel Aviv to end the practice of administrative detention because it violates the internationally recognized right to a fair trial.

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and prisoner advocacy groups, there are currently over 6,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, many of whom have been rounded up without charge or trial. Independent sources put the number of the inmates at 11,000.

( / 05.03.2012)

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