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Medics: Settlers shoot teen in head near Hebron

Jan. 28, 2011 9:52 A.M. (Updated: Jan. 29, 2011 7:42 P.M.)
HEBRON (Ma'an) -- Two Palestinians were injured Thursday, by a group of religious Jews locals described as settlers from a nearby area. One man was beaten and the second shot, and said to be "clinically dead."

The shooting is the second in as many days.

Spokesman for the village Mohammad Awad said that more than 150 settlers from Bat Ayin had descended from the illegal hilltop community and entered the village of Safa early in the morning.

Clashes were reported between the settlers and the villagers, who told Awad that the armed religious Jews were using live fire against the residents.

After the start of clashes Israeli forces arrived on the scene and evacuated the settlers from the area, Awad said.

According to Israeli daily newspaper Haaretz, settlers said they were fired on near the village, and that others came to the aid of the initial victims.

Israeli police confirmed an incident involving Palestinians and a group of Israelis near the village of Beit Ummar, north of Hebron.

"Near the village of Beit Umar, we received a report of an incident that took place there between a group of Palestinians and Israelis," police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

"Apparently shots were fired as a result of the incident. One Palestinian teenager has been taken to the hospital in serious condition and the situation is continuing to be investigated."

Police and the Israeli military confirmed that they had deployed large numbers of forces to the scene.

Sources in Hebron's Al-Ahli Hospital identified those injured as Yousef Fakhri Mousa Ikhleil, 17, said to be on life support after doctors treated him for gunshot wounds to the head. Murad Ikhliel, 23, was said to have sustained multiple bone fractures to his hand.

The incident comes the day after a farmer was shot and killed by settlers in the northern West Bank.

On Thursday, 19-year-old Uday Maher Qadous was shot and killed while he was working his land near the northern West Bank village of Iraq Burin alongside his cousin.

Just before one o'clock, workers from the Palestinian rights group Al-Haq recorded, Uday noticed that some of his sheep had gone missing and went to look for them in the fields nearby, and walked toward the Bracha settlement.

At one in the afternoon Uday's cousin Umar told Al-Haq that he heard a gunshot, and went to investigate. He said he waked in the same direction as his cousin, and said he saw Uday lying on the ground surrounded by four settlers holding pistols. He said he feared for his own life and hid nearby for at least half an hour before the settlers left.

When the armed settlers returned to the settlement, Umar told the rights group, he went up to Uday's body and found him non-responsive. He said he tried to carry the body for a while, but then decided to run to the nearby village and ask for help. A horse was brought to the scene and Uday's body was transported to hospital, where he was declared dead.

Al-Haq said that a preliminary medical examination showed that Uday was killed by a bullet that entered from the top left-hand side of his chest and went through diagonally to the lower right-hand side of his chest, remaining in the body, causing severe internal bleeding and bone damage.

Head of medicine at Rafidiyah Hospital, Ziyad Al-Ashhab, said he had ordered an autopsy performed, which found that a bullet fired from point blank range entered the chest of Qadous, ripping through his lung tissue and causing severe internal bleeding.

He said the results were handed over to Nablus general attorney Baha Ahmad.

AFP contributed to this report.
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