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21 Palestinians shot during Friday demos in West Bank, Gaza

Jan. 22, 2016 4:49 P.M. (Updated: Jan. 23, 2016 11:51 A.M.)
A Palestinian youth hurls a stone at Israeli forces during a demonstration on Dec. 20, 2013 in the occupied West Bank village of Kfar Qaddum. (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, File)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Clashes erupted Friday between Israeli military forces and Palestinians during weekly Friday demonstrations in the occupied West Bank and Gaza Strip, leaving several Palestinians injured and others detained.

A spokesman for Gaza's Ministry of Health told Ma'an that 17 Palestinians were injured during clashes, 15 of whom were hit by live fire and one of whom was in critical condition after being shot in the stomach in the al-Faraheen area east of Khan Yunis.

Another Palestinian was shot in the foot with live fire when clashes broke out with Israeli forces near the Nahal Oz checkpoint. The demonstrator was taken to a hospital for treatment. Clashes also took place at the Karni crossing and the al-Bureij refugee camp, where no injuries were reported.

In the West Bank town of Kafr Qaddum, witnesses told Ma’an that Israeli forces shot and injured three Palestinians with live fire, one of whom was a child.

Spokesman for the popular resistance committee in the village, Murad Shtewei, told Ma’an that 9-year-old Ayat Zahi was shot in the hand while standing on the porch of her house in the area where clashes were taking place. She was taken to Rafidia hospital in a moderate condition.

Hamza Khaldoun, 21, and Abdullah Anwar, 40, were injured with live fire in their feet and taken to Rafidia Hospital for treatment, Shtewei added.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that people had been hit after Israeli forces fired .22-caliber rounds at the protesters in Kafr Qaddum, although she declined to specify how many.

In Qalqiliya, paramedics told Ma'an 20-year-old Tamir Thiyab lost an eye after being shot with a rubber-coated steel bullet during clashes.

In Bilin, locals told Ma’an that 10-year-old Bashar Mustafa al-Khatib was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet in the head while dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation.

Meanwhile, in the village of Beit Furik east of Nablus, a Palestinian identified as Sharif Haneni was shot in the foot with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Separately, undercover forces detained three Palestinians participating in a demonstration at the northern entrance of Bethlehem, witnesses said.

Locals said one young man was shot in the foot before being detained, and that two others were beaten then arrested.

Undercover Israeli forces -- known as “mustarabin” -- are often used by Israeli security and military forces to detain Palestinians. The forces in recent months have on several occasions infiltrated demonstrations in order to detain participants.

Medical sources said another Palestinian was injured by a rubber-coated steel bullet in the foot in Bethlehem and was taken to Beit Jala hospital for treatment.

Over 13,000 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces in the previous three months, according to the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs.

The majority were injured during clashes with Israeli military forces during October and November, with injuries including wounds sustained from live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas inhalation.
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