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Israeli forces injure 21 at memorial for slain student in Abu Dis

Nov. 2, 2015 6:53 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 2, 2015 7:04 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Monday shot and injured 21 Palestinian students with rubber-coated steel bullets at Abu Dis' Al-Quds Open University campus during a demonstration marking 40 days since the death of student Dia Talahmeh.

A spokesperson for a local popular committee, Hani Halabiya, told Ma'an that Israeli forces fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters at students after the demonstration erupted into clashes.

Witnesses said that Israeli soldiers stormed the campus, firing tear gas inside university buildings, damaging property, and turning the campus into a "battlefield."

The Palestinian Red Crescent said that more than 21 Palestinians were shot and injured with rubber-coated steel bullets and more than 40 suffered excessive tear gas inhalation.

Talahmeh was killed on Sept. 21 near the village of Khursa in the southern occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army said he died after he attempted to throw an improvised explosive device that exploded prematurely, although Palestinian security sources said he was shot dead by Israeli forces.

Some Palestinians who later saw Talahmah's body told Ma'an that it appeared he had a single bullet shot in his head, in addition to injuries from explosive material, although no autopsy was performed.

Since Talahmeh's death, a number of other students from Al-Quds Open University have been shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly carrying out attacks on Israelis, including Muhannad Halabi, who killed two Israelis in Jerusalem's Old City at the beginning of October.

Several days before the attack -- which served as an important trigger to the subsequent unrest across the occupied Palestinian territory -- Halabi reportedly posted a photograph of Talahmeh on his Facebook page.

There have been regular clashes at the Abu Dis campus in the weeks since.

More than 70 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since the beginning of October during demonstrations and after a series of alleged attacks on Israeli military or civilians.

While Palestinians agree that a number of Palestinians were shot dead while carrying out attacks -- ultimately claiming 10 Israelis' lives -- footage and witness testimony have raised serious doubts over the Israeli army's version of events in many of the other cases.




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