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Israeli forces shoot, injure 17-year-old Palestinian girl east of Ramallah

May 23, 2017 3:04 P.M. (Updated: June 2, 2017 11:08 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and injured a Palestinian teenage girl at the entrance to the village of Silwad, east of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank on Tuesday afternoon.

The circumstances behind the shooting remained unclear, but unconfirmed reports said that the girl was shot because she was throwing stones at Israeli soldiers.

Locals, who identified the girl as 17-year-old Taqwa Hammad, told Ma'an that she was hit in the lower extremities and that Israeli troops prevented a Palestinian ambulance from accessing the victim to treat her.

Israeli forces provided first aid treatment to Hammad and evacuated her to Israel's Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, locals said.

The Israeli army did not respond to multiple requests for comment on the shooting -- unusual as Israeli authorities are usually quick to defend use of force on Palestinians by issuing statements accusing alleged assailants of "hurling stones at Israeli security forces," "instigating violent riots," or of attempting to attack soldiers who then "responded to the imminent threat" by opening fire.

Ma'an was also unable to reach a spokesperson for Hadassah hospital for comment on Hammad's condition.

According to local sources, Taqwa is the sister of 21-year-old Anas Hammad, who was shot dead in December 2015 after he committed an alleged vehicular attack on Israeli soldiers near the illegal Ofra settlement, which is adjacent to Silwad where the Hammad family resides.

Footage taken at the scene after the shooting was later circulated on social media.

Earlier Tuesday morning, Israeli forces shot and detained a Palestinian after he allegedly stabbed an Israeli police officer in the Israeli city of Netanya, with Israeli authorities promptly issuing a gag order on the case.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their excessive use of force against Palestinians, including minors, during clashes and incidents which could have been handled without the use of potentially lethal violence.

According to UN documentation, Israeli forces have injured 525 Palestinians so far in 2017. In 2016, 3,393 Palestinians were injured by Israeli forces.

Meanwhile, according to Ma’an documentation, 25 Palestinians have been killed by Israelis since the beginning of 2017, nine of whom were minors.

A Palestinian teenager who was shot and killed by Israeli forces while allegedly attempting to carry out a stabbing attack on Monday was one of three Palestinians who have died in the span of a week -- including a young man who was killed by an Israeli settler during clashes, and a teenage girl who succumbed to her wounds two months after being shot by Israeli forces during an alleged car-ramming attack.

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