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9 Palestinians injured with live fire in West Bank clashes

Oct. 20, 2015 6:45 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 21, 2015 9:39 A.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured at least nine Palestinians with live fire on Tuesday during clashes across the occupied West Bank, medics and witnesses said.

A reporter inal-Bireh in the central West Bank district of Ramallah, near the Beit El settlement checkpoint, said three Palestinians were injured with live fire and eight with rubber-coated steel bullets, while several others suffered from severe tear gas inhalationduring clashes that erupted in the city on Tuesday.

Israeli forces raided a gas station near the clashes and opened fire from inside the store, witnesses said.

When the station’s manager, Ayman al-Jamal, objected to the soldier's presence, and asked them not to open fire from inside the gas station, an Israeli soldier allegedly pointed his gun and threatened him.

Meanwhile, the student council of the Al-Quds Open University in Ramallah suspended classes for the day and organized a sit-in demonstration inside the university campus to protest Israeli crimes and violations against Al-Aqsa Mosque.

After the sit-in, students marched to join the clashes.

In Nilin village, west of Ramallah, two Palestinians were injured with live fire, one in the side of the head and another in the thigh, during clashes in the village, a reporter on the scene said.

The injuries were reported as moderate.

The clashes in Nilin erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces, after Israeli forces entered the village and closed its entrances.

Israeli soldiers used live and rubber coated steel bullets "heavily" during the clashes, witnesses said.

In Bethlehem, five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes with Israeli soldiers at the northern entrance of the city, medical sources said.

The director of the ambulance and emergency department of the Red Crescent in Bethlehem, Muhammad Awad, told Ma'an that five Palestinians were injured with live fire, adding that four of them were hit in the lower legs and one in the thigh.

Awad said that ambulances evacuated the injured to Beit Jala hospital for treatment, and reported their injuries as moderate.

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.
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