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13-year-old shot by Israeli forces may undergo amputation

Sept. 30, 2015 1:20 P.M. (Updated: Oct. 31, 2015 6:00 P.M.)
Members of the Israeli security forces clash with Palestinians near the West Bank town of Bethlehem in 2014. (AFP/File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli doctors on Wednesday were deciding whether to amputate the leg of 13-year-old Issa Ahmad Adnan al-Muti after he was severely wounded by Israeli forces last week, a hospital spokesperson said.

The spokeswoman for Hadassah hospital, where al-Muti was being treated, told Ma'an the child remained in moderate condition.

She said he was unconscious but stable, and doctors were waiting on further tests before they decided whether or not to go through with the amputation.

Earlier Wednesday, the Palestinian Prisoner's Society told Ma'an Israeli doctors had decided to go through with the operation.

Al-Muti was reportedly shot by Israeli forces during a protest in Bethlehem with a "dum-dum" bullet -- a bullet that expands inside the body on impact -- in his right leg on Sept. 18 before he was detained by Israeli forces, the prisoners' society told Ma'an.

The Israeli army told the society that al-Muti was shot and detained for throwing stones, but al-Muti's lawyer said that the 13-year-old was taking his brother to a nearby hospital when he was hit.

The child was taken by Israeli forces to Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem for treatment, where he was held under tight Israeli security and registered as a prisoner in the Ofer jail.

When one of the society's lawyers visited al-Muti in hospital on Monday he reported that the child remained chained to his hospital bed despite his injury and was in serious condition.

On Sept. 29, an Israeli court ruled that al-Muti would be released on bail of 7,000 shekels ($1,780).

The Israeli military prosecutors appealed his release although on Wednesday afternoon the court upheld al-Muti's release and decreased the bail to 2,000 shekels ($509). The 13-year-old was reportedly no longer being held in Israeli custody.

The use of "dum-dum" bullets constitutes a war crime under international law, but Palestinian rights group Defense for Children International has reported instances where the bullets have been used by Israeli forces.

The head of the Palestinian Authority Committee for Prisoners' Affairs, Issa Qaraqe, on Wednesday morning condemned the decision by Israeli doctors to go through with the amputation, calling the decision a "crime" that would cause al-Muti suffering for the rest of his life .

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

An average of 40 Palestinians have been injured by Israeli forces per week since the beginning of 2015, according to documentation by the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

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