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5 Palestinians shot, injured in the legs during clashes in Ramallah-area village

Aug. 11, 2017 10:32 A.M. (Updated: Aug. 12, 2017 10:50 A.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes that erupted Thursday evening in the Beit Rima town in northern Ramallah between Palestinian youths and Israeli undercover forces that raided a house in the town, according to official Palestinian sources.

Israeli forces fired live bullets, rubber-coated steel bullets, tear-gas and stun grenades at youths that surrounded the undercover forces as they were raiding a house in the area.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said in a statement that five Palestinians were injured with live fire during clashes in Beit Rima, which is located in the central occupied West Bank.

The ministry added that the injured “youths” arrived to the Salfit Governmental Hospital, all with gunshot wounds in their lower extremities. The ministry highlighted that in all five cases, the bullets had entered and exited their bodies.

According to the ministry, four were in stable condition, while one was transferred to another hospital due to bone fractures in his leg caused by the bullet.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that during an Israeli "operation" in Beit Rima, Palestinians began "hurling rocks" at Israeli forces, who "responded with crowd control measures."

Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.

Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.

The United Nations and numerous human rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians during raids and clashes, in incidents that did not warrant a violent response.

A report released in August 2016 by Bethlehem-based NGO Badil documented a trend of the Israeli army’s targeting of Palestinian youth with live fire in the kneecaps and legs, and recently published a case study on the Israeli army's excessive use of force that has increased since a wave of unrest began in the fall of 2015.

"A significant amount of this increased use of live fire was directed at the lower limbs of Palestinian youth, particularly the knees, which prompted the use of the term ‘kneecapping’ to refer to these incidents. The high number of kneecappings led BADIL to question whether the Israeli army was implementing a new tactic of excessive use of force," the report said.

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