2 held as Israel disperses W. Bank Palestinian rallies

RAMALLAH (AA) – Two activists – a Palestinian and a Briton – were detained on Friday when Israeli troops violently dispersed weekly anti-occupation rallies in the occupied West Bank.

Popular resistance activist Mohamed al-Khatib, along with a British activist (still unidentified), were taken to an undisclosed location by Israeli forces after the latter dispersed a popular rally near Israel's West Bank separation barrier.

Dozens, including Anadolu Agency photographer Essam Rimawi, were subject to pepper spray and teargas as Israeli troops attacked protesters and media personnel covering a rally held near the separation barrier.

Israeli forces used birdshot, teargas and water hoses to disperse anti-occupation protesters in Ramallah and several other West Bank cities, according to popular resistance activists.

Protesters in Ramallah hurled stones and set car tires alight.

Palestinians stage rallies every Friday to protest ongoing Israeli settlement construction and the separation barrier, which snakes through the occupied West Bank isolating several Palestinian communities.

The weekly rallies are typically dispersed by force by the Israeli army.

According to the Palestinian government in Ramallah, the separation barrier effectively cuts some 50,000 Palestinian residents of occupied East Jerusalem off from the city center.

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