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1 Palestinian teen killed, 3 critically injured after Israeli forces open fire on vehicle

March 23, 2017 9:15 P.M. (Updated: March 26, 2017 5:05 P.M.)
Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian youth was killed and three others were critically injured Thursday evening after Israeli forces opened fire on a Palestinian vehicle near the al-Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah city in the central occupied West Bank.

Ambulances of the Palestinian Red Crescent Society transferred the four youths, all residents of al-Jalazun, to the Ramallah Government Hospital, where one was pronounced dead.

Ma'an previously reported based on statements by medical officials at the hospital that a second teen succumbed to his wounds, though the ministry later clarified that while three were still undergoing surgery, only one teen had been pronounced dead. .

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the slain Palestinians as 17-year-old Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab, who was shot in the chest and shoulder.

The ministry identified the three injured as 18-year-old Jassem Muhammad Nakhla, who was shot in the head and foot, 18-year-old Muhammad Hattab, who was shot in the abdomen, and 18-year-old Muhammad Moussa Nakhla, who was shot in the foot and shoulder. The three remained in critical condition.

Local sources told Ma'an that Israeli soldiers fired heavily at the the vehicle while the teens were inside, from military tower near the entrance of the camp.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "three suspects exited a vehicle adjacent to the community of Beit El," referring to the illegal Israeli settlement adjacent to al-Jalazun, " where the suspects threw firebombs at the community. In response to the threat Israeli forces in the area fired towards the suspects, and several hits were confirmed. The suspects then fled the scene."

The spokesperson would not comment on reports that the teenagers were fired at while still inside the vehicle, or on reports that Israeli forces fired at the teens from a military watchtower.

When questioned about how the teens could have re-entered their car and driven away from the scene after being injured with multiple rounds of live fire to the head and chest, the Israeli army spokesperson said she could not comment.

In a video taken by locals at the scene, reporting to show the car in which the teenagers were shot at, the car can be seen with shattered windows and multiple bullet holes in the car's exterior, casting doubt on the Israeli army's claims that the boys were shot while outside of the vehicle.

In dozens of cases, Israel’s version of events has been disputed by witnesses, activists, and rights groups who have denounced what they have termed a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians who did not constitute a threat at the time of their death, or who could have been subdued in a non-lethal manner -- amid a backdrop of impunity for Israelis who committed the killings.

Muhammad Mahmoud Ibrahim al-Hattab

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