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Palestinian woman blinded in one eye after being shot by Israeli forces

April 23, 2017 11:55 A.M. (Updated: May 11, 2017 10:05 P.M.)
JERUSALEM (Ma’an) -- A Palestinian woman was critically injured and lost sight in her left eye after being shot by a rubber-coated steel bullet, when Israeli forces violently raided her neighborhood in occupied East Jerusalem to disperse a local dispute Saturday night.

Israeli forces raided Issawiya in northeastern Jerusalem amid a dispute between neighbors and indiscriminately opened fire, shooting 52-year-old Fatima Mahmoud Ubeid in the eye with a rubber-coated steel bullet, according to member of follow-up committee in al-Issawiya Muhammad Abu al-Hummus.

Fatima's husband Rajab Ubeid told Ma’an that his wife had been sitting with their daughter and son in-law on their balcony, when he heard Fatima suddenly scream after being shot.

Rajab said that his wife was transferred to Israel's Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, where doctors informed them that Fatima lost sight in her left eye, and that she would require surgery for fractures in her skull caused by the bullet wound.

Israeli police spokesperson Luba al-Samri later said in a written statement in Arabic that Israeli police officers who "rushed" to disperse the dispute "were attacked with stones and fire bombs." She said an Israeli police officer was "hit in the hand," and acknowledged that a number of locals were also injured, "including a woman who was taken to the hospital."

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians with "non-lethal" weapons such as rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas that often result in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

Israeli military regulations in the occupied Palestinian territory say that Israeli forces may only fire rubber-coated steel bullets at the legs, and never at children. Israeli forces are also required to be 50 to 60 meters from their targets.

According to Israeli NGO B'Tselem, "the permission to fire potentially lethal rubber-coated steel bullets at Palestinians to disperse 'violent riots' or demonstrations has led to the deaths of dozens of Palestinians. Viewing rubber-coated steel bullets as 'less lethal' than live ammunition leads one to possess a light trigger-finger. This phenomenon is only supported by the view of State Attorney's Office that these deaths are 'unavoidable mistakes.'"
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