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Israeli force injure 3 with live fire near Bethlehem

Sept. 26, 2015 11:03 A.M. (Updated: Sept. 26, 2015 9:51 P.M.)
A Palestinian protester throws a stone towards an Israeli soldier aiming his weapon during clashes on the outskirts of Jalazun refugee camp, near the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah, on Jan. 31, 2014. (AFP, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Three Palestinian youth were injured by live Israeli fire during clashes that erupted in the town of Tuqu in southeastern Bethlehem on Friday.

Locals told Ma'an that Israeli military forces arrived to the town and were deployed onto the rooftops of resident's homes, targeting youth with bullets and tear-gas.

Clashes had erupted between the youth and Israeli forces around the town's municipality building when Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets, injuring the three youth in the legs with live fire, locals said.

The youth received aid at the town's medical clinic before being taken to the Beit Jala Governmental Hospital by Palestinian Red Crescent ambulances.

Their injuries were reported as moderate.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that clashes with the forces began after "about 30 rioters" started throwing rocks near the main road outside the town.

The clashes then moved inside of the town and Israeli forces responded to the youth throwing rocks with "riot dispersal means," the spokesperson said.

When "rioters refused to respond," the forces fired .22 caliber rounds and confirmed three hits, the spokesperson added.

The spokesperson had no reports of Israeli soldiers entering private homes and deploying on rooftops.

Earlier Friday, the chief of police in the Nablus district and his three-year-old daughter were injured after being shot by Israeli forces with rubber-coated bullets during a raid in the village of Kafr Qaddum in Qalqiliya.

A weekly average of 39 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces since the start of 2015. The majority of injuries sustained by Palestinians occur during unarmed demonstrations.

Rights organizations have argued that methods of crowd control used by Israeli forces often result in excessive and sometimes fatal use of force.

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