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Settler shoots Palestinian in Jerusalem

Oct. 30, 2009 12:48 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 1, 2009 10:24 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Right-wing Israeli settlers attacked the Salah family on their way to Friday prayers in a bid to take over their home in the East Jerusalem community of Beit Safafa on Friday, Israeli and Palestinian officials said.

The settlers, 12 according to Palestinian sources, six according to Israeli media, and three according to the Jerusalem police chief, pulled up in a car with an eviction order for the family home of Ali Ibrahim Salah and his children.

Salah said the buildings shelter 55 residents, 30 of which are under 12 years old and include his children, Ismail, Mohammad, Mahmoud, Ahmad. He said the settlers claimed they bought the homes from their Armenian owners.

The Palestinian News Network quoted Sheha Salah as saying that her husband had purchased the buildings from its owners in 1966, and had the documents to prove the validity of the sale. Israel's High Court issued an eviction order on the home in August, giving the family one month to vacate the premises.

An argument erupted as the settlers demanded the family get out of their home. One of the settlers, reportedly all in their 50s, was armed with a gun, and fired on the family members. Israeli sources differed saying between one and four were injured, most of them youth.

The following family members were admitted to the Al-Maqased Hospital in East Jerusalem after the attack:

Daoud Salah, 18, sustained blows to the head and extensive bruising on his foot

Mohammad Salah, 48, sustained bruises to his lower back after being hit with an iron bar

Sheha Salah, 89, sustained bruises to his head and neck

Ismail Slah, 60, was shot with a live bullet in his hand

Ali Ibrahim Salah, 95, sustained moderate bruises to his body after being struck several times

The Israeli news agency Ynet said the middle-aged extremists fled the scene after the shooting, but were later found and detained.

An Israeli police spokesman had a different version of the incident, saying, "Three Jewish people came to the home in Beit Safafa to deliver the eviction order to the family then fighting erupted. It seems one of the Jewish people opened fire with his personal weapon and injured one of the Arab residents in the hand... then the Jewish people fled the scene driving their car."

Following their release from the hospital, members of the Salah family were summoned to the police station for interrogation.

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