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2 Palestinians injured with live fire, tear gas canister during clashes in Gaza

July 7, 2017 8:32 P.M. (Updated: July 8, 2017 4:04 P.M.)
GAZA (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces injured two Palestinians, one of whom was shot with live fire, on Friday in the besieged Gaza Strip after clashes erupted near the border with Israel east of the town of Jabaliya in the northern part of Gaza.

Spokesperson for Gaza’s Ministry of Health Ashraf al-Qudra said that a Palestinian was injured after a tear gas canister struck him in the head, and described his condition as serious, while another Palestinian was injured with a live bullet in the foot and was in moderate condition.

Al-Qudra said that both were transferred to Gaza’s Kamal Adwan Hospital for treatment.

According to witnesses, Israeli forces had also opened live ammunition on a Palestinian ambulance during the clashes. No injuries were reported among the medical crew.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that “violent riots” took place in several areas of the Gaza Strip, in which “dozens of Palestinians rolled burning tires and hurled rocks at security forces stationed at the border fence.”

“In response to the immediate threat,” she said, Israeli forces had fired warning shots in the air. However, when the Palestinians “failed to cease the riot,” they aimed live ammunition at “main perpetrators.”

Israeli police and soldiers have come under heavy criticism over the years for what rights groups have referred to as excessive use of force against Palestinians who did not pose an immediate threat or who could have been disarmed through non-lethal means, particularly during clashes.

After Israeli forces shot and critically injured a Palestinian teenager in the stomach with a live bullet during a protest in Gaza in May, rights group Defense for Children International - Palestine (DCIP) denounced the Israeli army’s excessive use of live fire on Palestinians in the besieged coastal enclave.

“Israeli forces’ frequent use of live ammunition at the Gaza border shows a pattern of disregard for Palestinian lives,” DCIP Accountability Program Director Ayed Abu Eqtaish said at the time, deploring the fact that accountability for injuries and fatalities in such cases “is extremely rare.”

According to Ma’an documentation, two Palestinians were killed during Gaza clashes in 2017, both within two days of each other.

In 2016, seven Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in the Gaza Strip, when 18 Palestinians were shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes across the occupied Palestinian territory -- out of more than 100 Palestinians to be killed by Israelis over the course of the year.
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