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Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank

May 12, 2017 3:43 P.M. (Updated: May 13, 2017 2:36 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces killed a 23-year-old Palestinian in the village of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Friday, after clashes broke out during a march in the village in support of some 1,300 Palestinians on a mass hunger strike across Israeli prisons, while dozens of other Palestinians were injured when clashes erupted in several other areas across the occupied territory.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters, which typically includes shooting rubber bullets, real bullets, tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and a variety of other weapons -- most of which have the potential to cause fatalities -- at Palestinians throwing rocks and the occasional Molotov cocktail.


In the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh, Saba Abu Ubeid, a resident of the West Bank district of Salfit, was killed after being hit in the chest with a live bullet shot by Israeli forces, after clashes erupted during the village’s weekly march, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.

The ministry said that medical crews transported Abu Ubeid to the Salfit governmental hospital after he was shot, at which time his condition was reported as critical. However, he was later declared dead by the ministry.

The village had launched their weekly march following Friday prayers in solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on their 26th day of a mass hunger strike across Israeli prisons.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "dozens of Palestinians were throwing rocks in Nabi Saleh." In response to the "immediate threat" and in order to "preserve quiet in the region," Israeli forces used "crowd dispersal means" on the Palestinian demonstrators. The spokesperson said she was aware that "one of the rioters had died and another was injured."

She confirmed that the Israeli army had opened live ammunition on the group of unarmed protesters.

Abu Ubeid is the 21st Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017, several of whom were also shot dead amid clashes with Israeli forces.
Picture of 23-year-old Saba Abu Ubeid from the West Bank district of Salfit, killed by Israeli forces during clashes in Nabi Saleh, Ramallah

Meanwhile, at least 66 Palestinians were injured in the northern West Bank district of Nablus when clashes erupted with Israeli forces. One Palestinian was injured with a live bullet, several were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation, according to the head of the ambulance service for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus, Ahmad Jibreel.

Witnesses said that clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli forces following Friday prayers, when Palestinians marched towards the Beita junction and Beit Furik checkpoint in a demonstration in support of the hunger strikers.

Jibreel told Ma'an that the Red Crescent had provided treatment to 40 Palestinians who had suffered from tear gas inhalation at the Beita junction, while 16 were injured with rubber bullets. He noted that clashes at the Beita junction were still ongoing as of 4 p.m.

Jibreel added that Israeli forces had directly opened live ammunition on three Red Crescent ambulances during clashes near Beit Furik, causing damage to the ambulances, including shattering windshields.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on clashes in Nablus.


In Qalqiliya, Murad Shteiwi, the coordinator of the popular resistance in the Kafr Qaddum village, said that Israeli border police suppressed the village’s weekly march by firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at demonstrators, causing tens of Palestinians to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

He added that Palestinians had set tens of rubber tires on fire in response to the Israeli forces raiding the village.

Shteiwi noted that the march was organized by the Fatah movement and the popular committee in order to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (catastrophe) when some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands in what became Israel. Nakba is officially celebrated on May 15.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on clashes in Kafr Qaddum.


In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, a number of Palestinians also suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Beit Ummar.

Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at protesters after suppressing a march organized in the village in solidarity with the hunger strike.

He said that Palestinians responded to Israeli forces by throwing rocks and empty bottles at soldiers and setting fire to rubber tires.

Awad added that Israeli soldiers had stationed themselves on the roof of a house belonging to Mahmoud Saleh Abu Ayyash and began firing tear gas at youths, who were then provided treatment on the scene by medical crews.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a "violent riot" broke out among some 50 Palestinians in Beit Ummar who "rolled burning tires" at Israeli forces. "In order to prevent an escalation of the riot," she said, Israeli forces used "riot dispersal means" on the protesters.

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