Palestinian prime minister evacuated from protest

AP News
Posted: Mar 01, 2013 1:19 PM

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad was evacuated after inhaling tear gas on Friday during a demonstration in the West Bank against Israel's security barrier, and protesters clashed with Israeli troops at other rallies held to support Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes.

Fayyad was participating in a demonstration in the West Bank village of Bilin when Israeli soldiers fired tear gas at protesters who were marking eight years of protests against the barrier, snaking through the West Bank, that Israel said it built to keep out Palestinian suicide bombers. Palestinians call the barrier a land grab as it juts into the West Bank and cuts them off from their land in some places.

Fayyad inhaled the tear gas while speaking in support of the villagers' weekly protests. He coughed and choked, forcing him to stop speaking and his aides removed him from the area. He was treated at the scene.

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Elsewhere across the West Bank, Palestinians continued several days of protests in support of Palestinian prisoners on hunger strikes in Israeli jails. Palestinians have warned of a backlash if any of them die.

Israel's military said hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks and firebombs at Israeli soldiers. Mohammed Samhan of the Red Crescent said dozens of protesters were treated for injuries caused by rubber bullets and tear gas inhalation.