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Palestinian teen shot, seriously injured after alleged stabbing attempt

April 25, 2017 3:20 P.M. (Updated: April 26, 2017 12:27 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- A 17-year-old Palestinian was shot multiple times in the stomach by Israeli forces after he allegedly attempted to commit a knife attack on Israeli soldiers in the northern occupied West Bank district of Nablus on Tuesday afternoon, with no Israelis being harmed in the incident.

Palestinian security sources told Ma'an that the youth was carrying a school bag and was attempting to cross the Huwwara military checkpoint south of Nablus city when Israeli soldiers opened fire at him, shooting him with several bullets in the stomach. They identified him as Amjad Maher Jaafar, 17.

An Israeli army spokesperson said an "attempted stabbing" had occurred and that "no injuries were reported," but confirmed that the youth had been shot.

According to Israeli news site Ynet, the Palestinian "charged" towards a group of Israeli soldiers with a knife in hand at a square near an Israeli army base, and Israeli soldiers opened fire at the Palestinian before he reached them.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson for the Palestinian Red Crescent told Ma'an they were prevented from accessing and treating Jaafar, and that he was evacuated by an Israeli ambulance to Israel's Rabin Medical Center in the city of Petah Tikva.

A spokesperson for Israel's Rabin Medical Center confirmed that the teen had arrived to the hospital, and said he was in difficult medical condition.

Yossi Dagan, head of the so-called Samaria Regional Council that administers illegal Israeli settlements in the northern occupied West Bank where the incident occurred, reacted by saying: "again we are witnessing attempts to hurt the routine of our daily lives. We thank the soldiers for the alertness they exuded and for their daily activity for the people of Israel. These attempts to damage the routine of our lives will not carry fruit," according to Israeli outlet The Jerusalem Post.

A day prior, Palestinian woman was detained at the Qalandiya military checkpoint after she allegedly stabbed and lightly wounded a female Israeli soldier, according to Israeli police who claimed that the woman attempted to commit suicide by provoking Israeli forces to shoot her. On Sunday, an 18-year-old Palestinian man from Nablus assaulted and lightly wounded at least four people in the Israeli city of Tel Aviv in an alleged stab attack.

The frequency of alleged and actual small-scale stabbing attacks by Palestinians peaked during a wave of violence in the fall of 2015, with Israeli forces being the target of international condemnation for implementing a "shoot-to-kill" policy against Palestinians that could have been detained without using lethal force.

More than 200 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces since October 2015, with about 40 Israelis being killed by Palestinians in the same period. Since the start of 2017, 16 Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli soldiers or police.

While Israeli officials have routinely claimed that Palestinian attacks are part of a international rise in Islamist extremism, many Palestinians have instead pointed chiefly to the frustration and despair brought on by Israel's decades-long military occupation of the Palestinian territory and the absence of a political horizon.
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