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Israeli forces shoot, injure Palestinian worker in Bethlehem area

Nov. 21, 2016 4:29 P.M. (Updated: Nov. 21, 2016 8:00 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian worker reportedly trying to cross from the occupied West Bank into Jerusalem on Monday.

Medical sources said that Israeli forces shot at the Palestinian, identified as Mahmoud Salah, injuring him in the foot in the Wadi Abu al-Hummus area of the western Bethlehem district.

Salah was taken to a Palestinian hospital, where his condition was described as stable.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that they were looking into the reports.

The Wadi Abu al-Hummus area is located near occupied East Jerusalem, which Palestinian residents of the West Bank are not allowed to access without an Israel-issued permit. A number of Palestinians have been shot in the area, allegedly while trying to cross into Jerusalem to work.

Tens of thousands of Palestinian workers are forced to seek a living by working in Israel due to crippling unemployment in the West Bank, as the growth of an independent Palestinian economy has been stifled under the ongoing Israeli military occupation, according to rights groups.

Israeli authorities have imposed a massive crackdown on undocumented workers in Israel in recent months, with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu saying in March that since a wave of violence began last fall -- which to date has left a total of 242 Palestinians and 36 Israelis killed -- “a large proportion of (Palestinian) attackers were present in Israel illegally or infiltrated into Israel illegally.”

However, few Palestinians attackers were in fact workers in Israel, and the recent crackdown on undocumented workers has been condemned by rights groups as a political game, unlikely to affect the violence, yet economically harmful to both Palestinians and Israelis.
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