Clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians spread to West Bank

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Violent clashes between Israeli troops and Palestinians have spread across much of the occupied West Bank, following days of hostility in Gaza.

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At least 10 Palestinians are reported to have died in the West Bank unrest, while hundreds have been injured.

Israeli forces used teargas, rubber bullets and live fire, as Palestinians threw petrol bombs.

At least 122 people have also been killed in Gaza and eight have died in Israel since fighting began on Monday.

Many towns and cities in the occupied West Bank were convulsed by angry protests on Friday, marking a widening of the conflict which has led to continued international calls for calm.

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There were running battles between Israeli soldiers and young Palestinians, who appear newly emboldened by the events of the past week, the BBC’s Arab affairs editor Sebastian Usher says.

Meanwhile, there were protests at the Jordanian and Lebanese borders with Israel, in support of the Palestinians, on Friday. One man died after being hit by Israeli shell fire while protesting, state media in Lebanon reported.

This week’s violence in the region is the worst since 2014. It came after weeks of rising Israeli-Palestinian tension in East Jerusalem, which culminated in clashes at a holy site revered by both Muslims and Jews. Hamas, the militant group that rules Gaza, began firing rockets after warning Israel to withdraw from the site, triggering retaliatory air strikes.

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The Israeli military said it conducted an operation overnight to destroy a network of Hamas tunnels that it dubbed “the metro”, but no troops had entered Gaza. It added that – over the course of Thursday evening and Friday morning – 220 more projectiles were fired from the Gaza Strip.

In southern Israel, an 87-year-old woman died after falling on her way to a bomb shelter near Ashdod. Other areas including Ashkelon, Beersheba and Yavne were also targeted.

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