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Israeli forces shoot, critically wound Palestinian woman in Hebron

Feb. 14, 2016 6:19 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 19, 2016 12:16 P.M.)
Correction appended.

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces on Sunday shot and wounded a young Palestinian woman near the Ibrahimi Mosque in Hebron's Old City after she allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli police officer, Israeli police said.

Local Palestinian sources provided a conflicting report of the incident, saying the woman had been walking with her sister and neither attempted to carry out an attack.

Locals said they had both walked several meters past an Israeli military checkpoint known as 160 when Israeli soldiers opened fire on them.

The woman was identified as 21-year-old Yasmin Rashad al-Zarou. Initial reports that she was 14 years old were later proved false.

She was evacuated to Shaare Zedek Hospital in Jerusalem, where a hospital spokesperson said she was in stable condition after undergoing an operation.

Graphic video footage of al-Zarou lying on the ground moments after the shooting was widely shared on social media.

The incident was one of several violent encounters on Sunday. Hours earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian after he allegedly attempted to stab an Israeli soldier at a checkpoint north of Bethlehem.

Earlier in the day, Israeli forces shot and killed two 15-year-old Palestinians near the village of al-Araq west of Jenin after they allegedly opened fire on Israeli soldiers.

No Israelis were injured in either incident.

The day before, an 18-year-old Palestinian woman was shot and killed near the Ibrahimi Mosque, where Sunday's incident took place.

The checkpoint near the Ibrahimi Mosque is located in Hebron's Old City, which has been designated a "closed military zone" by the Israeli army since November.

Palestinian residents of the area have had to register under a number system in order to pass through the Old City's nearly 20 military checkpoints, and locals have reported heavier restrictions imposed by the army that Israeli rights group B'Tselem has referred to as "draconian."

Over 170 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces and settlers since a wave of unrest spread across the occupied Palestinian territory in October.

The unrest has been marked by a surge of small-scale attacks carried out by Palestinian individuals -- predominantly on Israeli military targets -- which have left over 25 Israelis dead.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon last month said it was "human nature" for Palestinians to react violently to Israel’s decades-long military occupation, as he urged a change in Israeli policies in the occupied territory.

This version corrects that Yasmin al-Zarou was 21 years old, and not 14 years old as initially reported to Ma'an by locals. 
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