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Israeli forces, shoot injure Palestinian worker near Bethlehem separation wall

April 30, 2016 2:37 P.M. (Updated: May 1, 2016 1:39 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker on Saturday as he approached the separation wall near the village of Dar Salah east of Bethlehem in the southern occupied West Bank, according to local sources.

Witnesses told Ma’an that Muhammad Qashqeesh from Halhul near Hebron was shot in the foot. He was evacuated to Beit Jala public hospital in Bethlehem, where medics said he suffered from a moderate wound.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into reports.

Several Palestinian workers -- who are denied work permits by Israel -- use holes in the separation wall east of Bethlehem to cross into Israel. The section of Israel’s separation wall near the villages of Dar Salah, al-Khass, and al-Nuaman is secured only by chain fences, which makes it easier for workers to cross stealthily.

Last year, there were as many as 112,300 Palestinians employed in Israel and Israel’s illegal settlements -- about 12 percent of the Palestinian workforce -- according to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics (PCBS).

However, because Israel sets a tight quota for the number of Palestinians issued work permits, thousands are forced to enter Israel illegally seeking work with exploitative employers, and often living in Israel for long periods of time.

PCBS estimates that in 2015 there were as many as 36,400 undocumented workers, although most of these were employed in the settlements.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force against Palestinians that often results in death or injury.
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