The 37th Day of the Dignity and Freedom Hunger Strike had been declared as a Day of Rage in solidarity with the Palestinian prisoners and in protest against US president Trump’s visit to Bethlehem. Israeli military killed the third person since solidarity protests with the prisoners started.
Trump’s visit was short, focused only on a meeting with Abu Mazen, while Palestinian families of the prisoners on hunger strike were rallying on Mangar Square, in Bethlehem where the presidents have been meeting. The protest in Bethlehem and the marches all over the West Bank showed once again the disconnect between the determination of the people in the streets to continue their struggle for liberation and rights and Trump and Abu Mazen conversing diplomatically inside the air-conditioned meeting rooms.
22 May 2017 marked a general strike that took place across historical Palestine, the first time since the First Intifada in 1987. This came on the 36th day of the freedom and dignity hunger strike where the situation for political prisoners had become critical. The same day a further seventy prisoners were relocated to Israeli hospitals as their health severely deteriorated. Palestinian political prisoners continue to join the strike.
Demonstrations took place across the Occupied West Bank, including Occupied Jerusalem, in solidarity with the hunger strikers and demanding that Israel meet the demands of hunger strikers. Inevitably, the demonstrations have been violently suppressed by the Israeli forces. Confrontations took place in Hebron city and villages, Beit Umar, Bethlehem and its districts, Ramallah, Nabi Saleh, Orfar Prison, Qalandiya, Nablus, and Qalqelya. Settlers have been burning agricultural lands close to Nablus and throwing stones on Palestinian roads attacking drivers.
Qalandiya checkpoint witnessed the most violent confrontations with eighteen injuries, eight with live ammunition shot in the stomach and legs, and ten with rubber coated steel bullets. Several demonstrators were treated with tear gas inhalation. One person was seriously injured with live ammunitions in the village of Nabi Saleh.
Palestinian youth Raed Ahmad Radayda, only 15-years-old, was shot dead at the container checkpoint Northeast of Bethlehem. As a result confrontations broke out in surrounding villages between Palestinians and the Israeli forces. The Palestinian Red Crescent advised that Israeli forces prevented the ambulances services from reaching the young boy. Raed Ahmad Radayda was one of three Palestinian youth who have died within this week. Overall twenty-five Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of 2017.