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PA forces fire tear gas at West Bank protesters after Gaza hospital strike

Hundreds of protesters have rallied in the occupied West Bank after Palestinian officials said an Israeli air raid killed hundreds of people at a hospital in Gaza.

The strike on Gaza’s Al-Ahli al-Arab Hospital, which officials said killed about 500 people, was the deadliest single incident in Gaza since Israel launched a brutal campaign of air raids on the Palestinian territory after a deadly Hamas gun rampage through Israeli communities.

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The Israeli military denied responsibility for the air attack and said it was caused by a failed rocket launch by a Palestinian armed group.

Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the reports.

In the city of Ramallah, Palestinian Authority (PA) security forces fired tear gas and stun grenades to disperse protesters on Tuesday.

“The people want the fall of the president,” some demonstrators chanted. Some protesters voiced their support for Hamas, the Palestinian group that governs Gaza.

Witnesses reported protests in other cities across the West Bank, including Nablus, Tubas and Jenin, a northern city that was the focus of extensive Israeli military operations earlier this year.

The outbreak of West Bank protests highlights long-simmering Palestinian anger against PA President Mahmoud Abbas, whose forces have long faced criticism for coordinating with Israel on security in the territory.

Hussein al-Sheikh, a senior Palestinian official, has said that Abbas will return to the West Bank “immediately”.

Abbas has also cancelled a planned meeting with United States President Joe Biden, who is scheduled to arrive in the region on Wednesday in a show of support for Israel after Hamas carried out a devastating attack on October 7 that killed at least 1,400 people, according to Israeli authorities.

Since the Hamas attack, Israel has pounded the besieged Gaza Strip in a relentless air bombardment that has killed more than 3,000 Palestinians, wounded more than 10,000 others and levelled entire residential neighbourhoods.

Tensions have escalated in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces have killed dozens of Palestinians and arrested more than 600 people.

The Palestinian health ministry has reported that 61 people have been killed and 1,250 injured in the occupied West Bank since October 7.


Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies

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