Saba’a Nidal Obaid Image Credit: Mohammad Najib/Gulf News

Ramallah: A Palestinian youth was shot dead during clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank on Friday, Palestinian medical sources have said.

The man, Saba’a Nidal Obaid, 23, was shot through his chest during protests in Nabi Saleh village, 20km north of Ramallah, and later died in a nearby hospital. Medical teams failed to revive him.

Obaid was the first Palestinian martyred in clashes that erupted since Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails started a hunger strike 26 days ago. Fatah officials said Obaid’s funeral was to be held later in the evening.

Clashes also erupted elsewhere in West Bank after Friday prayers as Palestinians demonstrated in solidarity with the striking prisoners.

A Palestinian Red Crescent official said at least 66 Palestinians were injured in clashes yesterday in Nablus. Israeli regime police used live ammunition and tear gas canisters to disperse the protesters, Ahmad Jibril, an ambulance officer of the Palestinian Red Crescent, said in Nablus. Israeli police also smashed 3 ambulances of the Red Crescent, he said.

Clashes also erupted in Beit Omar in northern Hebron where dozens were tear-gassed, according to Palestinian medical sources.

The Palestinian national committee for support of prisoners’ strike has called for escalation of protests following the martyrdom of Obaid. The committee, in a statement obtained by Gulf News, urged wider participation in a week-long “battle for freedom and dignity” starting today. It also called for a huge rally towards the offices of International Committees of the Red Cross in the West Bank.

Meanwhile, reports said that Israeli jail authorities were rounding up hunger strike leaders in the prisons, possibly to start negotiations with them.