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Palestinian dies after being shot in chest during Friday clashes

Dec. 19, 2015 11:05 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 19, 2015 7:25 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian man succumbed to his wounds on Friday hours after he was shot and critically injured during clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Sinjil north of Ramallah.

Israeli soldiers shot Nashaat Asfour, 33, in the chest with an explosive bullet before he was evacuated to the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah, medics said.

Asfour went under operation at the hospital and was moved to the intensive care unit where he succumbed to his wounds hours later.

Locals told Ma’an that Nashat -- a popular resident of Sinjil and an avid fan of volleyball -- would be laid to rest after midday prayers on Saturday.

The use of explosive bullets, also called expanding bullets or "dum dum" bullets, is illegal under international law due to the brutal damage inflicted on the victim, as the bullets are made to splinter apart and become lodged, instead of making a clean exit through the body.

Israel has repeatedly denied claims that its forces use such bullets, though Palestinian medical examiners have on occasion documented their use.

The 33-year-old was the third Palestinian to die on Friday. Muhammad Abd al-Rahman Ayyad, 21, was killed also by Israeli forces after attempting to run over a group of soldiers with his vehicle in the Ramallah-area village of Silwad, Israel's army said.

Hours later, 20-year-old Mahmoud Muhammad Saed al-Agha was shot dead by Israeli military forces when clashes broke out near Khan Younis in southern Gaza, according to Gaza's Ministry of Health.

Friday’s deaths brought the total number of Palestinians killed from direct confrontations with Israeli military forces and settlers since Oct. 1 to 126.

Nineteen Israelis have been killed in attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals in the same time period.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian affairs said in a report Friday that the circumstances of several Palestinian deaths remain disputed while citing “serious concern” for Israel’s excessive use of force and “extrajudicial killing” in many cases.

Over 150 Palestinians were shot and injured by live and rubber-coated steel bullets during Friday's clashes in both the Gaza Strip and the occupied West Bank.

An increase in demonstrations against Israeli military forces has coincided with the escalation in violence that began across the occupied Palestinian territory in October that has continued through December.

While Middle East Quartet envoys and UN officials visited the area earlier this week in efforts to quell the ongoing violence, Palestinian leadership has remained markedly absent from the public domain in recent months.

Israeli leadership meanwhile has executed large-scale security measures in response to attacks carried out by Palestinians on Israeli military and civilians that international rights groups have labeled "collective punishment."

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