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Israeli army fires live bullets at West Bank protest

Aug. 31, 2012 8:36 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 2, 2012 11:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces fired live ammunition at a demonstration in a West Bank village on Friday, activists and the Israeli army said.

Medics said Malek Tamimi was shot in the hand with a live bullet and taken to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

An Israeli military spokeswoman told Ma'an that soldiers fired live ammunition in the air as warning shots after protesters surrounded soldiers and attacked them.

She said soldiers felt "an imminent threat to their lives." They used riot dispersal means and fired warning shots in the air "to distance the attackers," the army official added.

Activists said Omar Tamimi was injured by a rubber bullet to his head and a woman was hit in the leg by a tear gas grenade during the protest.

Protesters said Israeli soldiers closed the three entrances to Nabi Saleh early Friday morning and later prevented ambulance from entering the village.

Forces also detained Muhammad Khatib, Miriam al-Barghouthi and photographer Bilal Tamimi, as well as a female foreign national, according to activists.

The Israeli military spokeswoman was not immediately familiar with any arrests or injuries at the protest.

Every week, activists protest in Nabi Saleh against a nearby settlement's encroachment toward lands and a spring owned by the village.

On Friday, protesters held photos of Rachel Corrie, an American activist who was crushed to death by an Israeli army bulldozer in southern Gaza in 2003. Corrie, who died aged 23, was trying to prevent the demolition of a home in Rafah.

An Israeli court on Tuesday cleared Israel's army of any responsibility for Corrie's death, following a lawsuit brought by her family.

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