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Halamish settlers raid Kobar village, Israeli forces intervene, injure 1 Palestinian

Aug. 4, 2017 12:25 P.M. (Updated: Aug. 4, 2017 6:14 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- A Palestinian youth was injured with live fire by Israeli forces during clashes into the village of Kobar, located in the Ramallah district of the central occupied West Bank.

Locals told Ma'an that some 200 Israeli settlers from the nearby illegal Halamish settlement -- where last month, a Palestinian teen from Kobar stabbed and killed three Halamish settlers -- raided the Kobar village overnight between Thursday and Friday and “attempted to attack locals, who resisted them, leading the settlers to exit the village.”

According to locals, the settlers entered through the southern part of Kobar, and when locals resisted them, they fled towards the Jibiya village, only to be surrounded by youths from the two villages.

Israeli forces then arrived to the Jibiya village to protect the settlers, opening live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas, and stun grenades, injuring one youth with live fire.

Israeli forces then escorted the settlers back to the Halamish settlement.

An Israeli army spokesperson said they were looking into the events.

Israeli forces have routinely been criticized by Palestinian leaders and rights groups for the use of “excessive force” and live ammunition during raids and clashes with Palestinians, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

In the wake of the Halamish stabbing, Israeli forces imposed a series of punitive measures on the family of the attacker, 19-year-old Omar al-Abed, and the residents of Kobar, temporarily sealing the village, detaining the al-Abed's brother and mother, and raiding the local health clinic.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also announced al-Abed’s family home would be punitively demolished, as several Israeli officials called for the death penalty to be imposed on the teenager.

The Israeli government has long faced criticism for its response to attacks, with rights groups saying severe security measures amount to collective punishment and a violation of international law.

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