BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A Palestinian construction worker from the southern occupied West Bank town of al-Khader fractured his feet on Saturday after Israeli forces opened fire at him while he was attempting to pass over Israel’s separation wall and jumped off of it to escape the bullets.
A local activist Ahmad Salah told Ma’an that 41-year-old Hazim Abu al-Sheikh Mousa was trying to traverse the wall in the Wadi al-Hummus area in southern Jerusalem near Sur Bahir, in order to get to work inside Israel along with a group of other workers, who did not have permits needed to pass through the Israeli-controlled border crossings separating the occupied West Bank from occupied East Jerusalem and Israel.
After he climbed the wall, Israel troops who were on the other side started to fire gunshots, prompting him to jump back. The other workers evacuated Mousa to Beit Jala public hospital where he received treatment for fractures in both of his feet.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an they were looking into reports of the incident.
Under Israel’s permit regime, Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access occupied East Jerusalem or Israel without an Israeli-issued permit, and many risk being shot and injured while trying to cross into Israel to work.
Salah noted to Ma’an that workers who do not have permits sometimes prefer to cross the border on Saturday because they believe Israeli restrictions are lighter on Saturday, the Jewish day of rest and Israel’s national weekend when many public services are closed.
Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment
in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.