Photo: Maan News Agency
Photo: Maan News Agency

Bethlehem, 7 Muharram 1437/20 October 2015 – Israeli forces on Monday evening shot and injured a Palestinian in clashes in Tuqu village southeast of Bethlehem, witnesses said.

Witnesses said that 19-year-old Jamal Muhannad Hajahja was shot in the leg with live fire.

Witnesses said that Israeli forces raided an area near a municipality building inside the village, causing clashes to erupt, Maan News Agency quoted by Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA) as reporting.

Israeli forces fired live and rubber-coated bullets, as well as tear gas canisters, witnesses said.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed the injury.

The spokesperson said Israeli “forces received reports of a violent riot” southeast of Bethlehem, and that when they arrived “dozens of Palestinians were throwing rocks at passing vehicles.”

The spokesperson said that when Israeli forces were unable to control the crowd, who were posing “an imminent threat the civilians,” Israeli forces opened fire at a “main instigator.”

Some 43 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of the month, around half of whom were killed by Israeli forces during clashes. Eight Israelis have been killed in attacks by Palestinians in the same period.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs reported that the second week of October saw the highest number of Palestinian deaths and injuries in the West Bank and Israel recorded in a single week since 2005.

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights said last week that “the high number of casualties, in particular those resulting from the use of live ammunition by Israeli security forces, raises concerns of excessive use of force, and violations of the right to life and security of the person.”

While the Israeli leadership attributes the escalation in violence to Palestinian incitement, most Palestinians have pointed to the decades-long Israeli military occupation as the root cause of recent events. (T/P010/R04)

Mi’raj Islamic News Agency (MINA)