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Israeli soldiers kill 12-year-old Palestinian during clashes in central West Bank

July 19, 2016 8:17 P.M. (Updated: July 20, 2016 3:37 P.M.)
Israeli security forces aim during clashes with Palestinian protesters in the village of Kfar Qaddum (AFP/Jaafar Ashtiyeh, file)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A 12-year-old Palestinian was killed Tuesday evening during clashes with Israeli soldiers in the town of al-Ram north of Jerusalem in the central occupied West Bank after he was hit in the heart by a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to medical sources.

The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhyee Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an she did not have any information on the case. Israeli police were not available for comment.

Clashes erupted after Israeli forces raided the town of al-Ram, as Palestinian youths threw rocks and empty bottles at Israeli soldiers who then responded by shooting live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas bombs into the community. However, Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri told Al Jazeera no live fire was used in the clashes.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters.

In March, Defense for Children International’s Palestine branch (DCIP) estimated that at least 41 Palestinian children had been killed by Israelis since October, when a wave of unrest began spreading across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

DCIP's report added that Israeli authorities had yet to open “full and transparent investigations” into any of the deaths, and reportedly refused a number of autopsy requests from children's families, criticizing what it called Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinian children.

Although a number of those killed have been under the age of 14, Muhye is one of the youngest Palestinians to have been shot dead by Israeli forces.
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