NABLUS, Palestine

At least five Palestinians on Friday were affected by tear gas bombs fired by Israeli security forces in the northern occupied West Bank during a protest that coincided with the 72nd anniversary of the Palestinian Day of Nakba which is annually marked on May 15.

Eyewitnesses told Anadolu Agency that the Israeli army dispersed a protest held by Palestinians in the town of As-Sawiya against a decision by Israeli officials to confiscate lands from the town to expand nearby Israeli settlements.

Palestinian medical teams in the town said they treated five protesters affected by tear gas.

The residents of As-Sawiya organized demonstrations for a second week to protest the decision.

Roughly 650,000 Israeli Jews currently live in around 164 settlements and 116 settlement posts built in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

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

Palestinians use the term Nakba, meaning “catastrophe”, to refer to the 1948 expulsions by Zionist gangs in historical Palestine.

* Ahmed Asmar contributed to this report from Ankara

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