BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces injured a Palestinian with live fire and wounded several others with rubber-coated steel bullets after clashes erupted between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank districts of Ramallah and Qalqiliya on Thursday.
In the Ramallah-area village of Silwad, located in the central occupied West Bank, Israeli forces injured one Palestinian with live ammunition and detained two others, after Israeli forces raided the village, causing clashes to erupt between locals and armed Israeli forces.
Locals told Ma’an that Israeli forces raided the village and began firing tear gas canisters, rubber-coated steel bullets, and live ammunition at Palestinians who threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli forces.
The condition of the injured Palestinian remained unknown, while locals reported that one of the two detained was a “youth” while the other was a minor.
Meanwhile, in the northern West Bank district of Qalqiliya, a Palestinian was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet and two others suffered from tear gas inhalation after a march, launched in solidarity with a mass hunger strike in Israeli prisons
, erupted into clashes with Israeli forces at the eastern entrance of Qalqiliya city.
The Palestinian Red Crescent confirmed the injuries and said that the three injured Palestinians were transferred to Darwish Nazzal hospital.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that the Israeli army was not present during the clashes in Qalqiliya and that only Israeli border police were there. However, an Israeli border police spokesperson was not immediately available for comment.
Shortly before clashes broke out in Ramallah and Qalqiliya, a Palestinian was killed by an Israeli settler
near the village of Huwwara in Nablus, after a demonstration organized by Palestinians in support of the hunger strikers broke out into clashes.
Witnesses told Ma’an that the Israeli settler exited his car and opened live ammunition on the protesters, killing 23-year-old Mutaz Hussien Hilal Bani Shamsa and injuring Palestinian journalist Majdi Eshtayya.
Shamsa was the 23rd Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017. Seven Israelis were killed by Palestinians during the same time frame.
According to an Israeli army spokesperson, the army was not involved in the shooting of Shamsa and Eshtayya. However, she added, “(the shooting) may possibly be from the Israeli (settler), but the incident is under review.”
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their excessive use of force against Palestinians, including minors, during clashes and incidents which could have been handled without the use of potentially lethal violence.
According to UN documentation, Israeli forces have injured 525 Palestinians so far in 2017. In 2016, 3,393 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces.