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Israeli forces shoot, injure 12-year-old boy in Kafr Qaddum clashes

Jan. 21, 2017 7:47 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 23, 2017 7:36 P.M.)
NABLUS (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot a 12-year-old Palestinian boy with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes in the village of Kafr Qaddum west of Nablus in the northern occupied West Bank on Saturday afternoon.

Spokesman of the village's local popular committee Murad Shteiwi told Ma'an that 12-year-old Awwad Mansour was shot in the hand during clashes as Israeli troops forcibly dispersed a rally held in the village to protest settlements and to urge Israeli authorities to reopen a road that was closed there 14 years ago.

According to Shteiwi, Israeli troops stormed the village firing live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets as they chased Palestinian youth in the alleys.

He added that soldiers detained 40-year-old Mamun Shteiwi.

Just a day prior, Israeli forces also suppressed a protest in Kafr Qaddum.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into reports.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum began staging weekly protests in 2011 against land confiscations, as well as the closure of the village's southern road by Israeli forces. The road, which has been closed for 14 years, is the main route to the nearby city of Nablus, the nearest economic center.

Hundreds of Palestinians have been detained during the demonstrations since their start in 2011, and at least 84 protesters have been injured by live fire, including 12 children, Shteiwi told Ma'an during a similar protest last year.

Some 120 others have been detained at demonstrations and were subsequently held in Israeli custody for periods ranging between four and 24 months, Shteiwi said at the time, adding that they have paid fines totaling some 25,000 shekels (approximately $6,488).

Over the course of five years, an elderly protester was killed after suffering from excessive tear gas inhalation, one youth lost his eyesight, and another his ability to speak, he added.

Israeli forces last month became the focus of international condemnation when Israeli forces, wearing matching plain clothes and black ski masks detained a seven-year-old Palestinian during a weekly protest in the village.

A video of the incident was taken by a volunteer of B’Tselem and quickly went viral. Rights groups and activists pointed out that the video seems to show the soldiers using the child as a human shield during clashes.

B’Tselem strongly condemned the incident at the time, saying that “it does not take a lawyer to know that the detention of a seven-year-old child by soldiers, keeping him by their side as they shoot at his friends, is deplorable and utterly unacceptable."
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