RAMALLAH, Palestine

Israeli forces injured at least 47 Palestinians on Friday in the northern West Bank when they used tear gas and fired rubber bullets to disperse an anti-settlement rally.

According to a Palestinian Red Crescent Society statement, the injuries took place during clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Beita in the southern city of Nablus.

The statement said 42 Palestinians were suffocated as a result of gas inhalation and pepper spray, while five others were injured by rubber-coated bullets.

It added that most of the cases were treated in a Red Crescent field hospital, with the exception of three who were taken to a hospital.

Following weekly Friday prayers, a rally of dozens of Palestinians against Israeli settlements on their land was met by Israeli tear gas canisters, pepper spray, and rubber-coated bullets.

Palestinians hold regular protests in Beita against Israeli settlements at Jabal Sbeih near Beita.

In recent weeks, four Palestinians were killed by the Israeli forces in Beita during anti-settlement rallies.

According to Israeli and Palestinian figures, around 650,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in 164 settlements and 116 settlement-outposts.

International law regards both the West Bank and East Jerusalem as occupied territories and considers all Jewish settlement-building activity there illegal.

*Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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