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West Bank clashes erupt during protest against Israeli offensive in Gaza

Source: Reuters - Tue, 15 Jul 2014 00:03 AM
Author: Reuters
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STORY: Palestinian protesters clashed with Israeli military forces in the West Bank city of Bethlehem on Monday (July 14), throwing stones and shooting fireworks.

Israeli troops responded with stun grenades.

The clashes took place as Israel continued a week-long offensive against Hamas militants in Gaza.

Health officials said Israeli air strikes have killed 180 Palestinians and wounded 1,390, most of them civilians, in the densely populated enclave, in Israel's offensive aimed at halting rocket fire at the Jewish state from coastal Gaza.

There have been no fatalities in Israel in the fighting. The missile-interceptor system Iron Dome, which is Israeli-built and partly funded by the United States, has intercepted many of the rocket salvoes from inside Gaza.

The violence was prompted by the murder of three Israeli teenagers and the revenge killing of a Palestinian teenager that followed. Israeli officials said on Monday three people arrested over the Palestinian's death had confessed to burning him alive.

Peace efforts have been complicated by Hamas' rejection of a mere "calm for calm", in which both sides hold their fire, in favor of wider conditions including prisoner release and an end to Israel's Gaza blockade.

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