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IANS

Hundreds of Palestinians and one Israeli soldier were injured during fierce clashes near the northern West Bank city of Nablus.

The Palestinian Red Crescent Society said in a statement that 247 Palestinian protesters were injured by Israeli soldiers in the village of Burqa, northwest of Nablus, reports xinhua news agency.

Among the injured, 10 were shot by live ammunition and 48 by rubber-coated metal gunshots, with one in critical condition after he was shot in the abdomen, said the statement.

In the village of Bazaria, close to Burqa, 54 Palestinians were injured during clashes with Israeli soldiers, it added.

Israeli media reported that a soldier was injured during the clashes in Burqa and Bazaria, where troops opened fire to disperse Palestinians who threw stones at them.

Palestinian witnesses said that fierce clashes broke out in Burqa between Palestinian demonstrators and Israeli soldiers who arrived to protect Israeli settlers at an old settlement that was evacuated in 2005.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that it holds the Israeli government "fully and directly responsible for the comprehensive Israeli aggression on the Palestinian people".

In a statement, the Ministry said that the Israeli soldiers and the settlers "continue escalating their aggression against our people who are celebrating Christmas and the New Year".

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