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Israeli forces demanding wounded Palestinian turn himself in after violent raid

Sept. 27, 2017 12:20 P.M. (Updated: Sept. 28, 2017 3:47 P.M.)
BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- A young Palestinian man has been hospitalized after he was shot and critically injured by undercover Israeli forces seeking to detain him in a predawn military raid into al-Duheisha refugee camp the southern occupied West Bank..

Israeli forces raided the Bethlehem-area refugee camp to detain local Akram al-Atrash, with soldiers clashing with youth and firing tear gas, stun grenades, and rubber-coated steel bullets at residents, with a number of people suffering from tear gas inhalation and other minor injuries.

Israeli forces shot Akram with live ammunition, and locals managed to take him to a hospital, evading Israeli soldiers who deployed throughout the camp to detain the wounded man.

Soldiers broke into the al-Atrash home and detained Akram’s father Imran and cousin Rami to pressure Akram to turn himself in.

Social media news outlet Duheisha al-Hadath reported on Facebook later Wednesday morning that Israeli forces released Rami on the condition that Akram turn himself in a half-an-hour later.

According to the site, Akram was critically injured in his arm and Israeli authorities refused to allow him time to undergo surgery scheduled for later in the day, and were demanding he immediately turn himself in. Earlier reports said he had been shot in the leg.

Duheisha al-Hadath claimed that Israel authorities “threatened to kill him or demolish his home if he does not turn himself in.”

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an they were looking into the case to provide comment.

The developing events come after a resident of al-Duheisha, 22-year-old Raed al-Salhi, died in an Israeli hospital earlier this month, succumbing to multiple gunshot injuries sustained during an Israeli detention raid in the camp.

During the 29 days that al-Salhi remained in critical condition in the Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem after he was shot by Israeli forces, his family was kept in the dark about his condition.

It is common for Palestinian families not to receive any updates or information from Israeli authorities after their relatives are shot or killed by Israeli forces, while Israel often delays the delivery of slain Palestinian bodies to their families in the occupied Palestinian territory, and imposes strict conditions on funerals.

Like many other Palestinian youth in al-Duheisha, al-Salhi’s family reported that he had been threatened by an Israeli army commander known to locals as “Captain Nidal.” Captain Nidal has become infamous in Bethlehem's refugee camps for routinely threatening to permanently disable local youth by shooting them in the legs and knees, in a practice referred to as “kneecapping.”

Two days before Israeli forces fatally shot al-Salhi, the family said that Captain Nidal told the young man that he would “shoot him in front of his mother.”

Rights groups have determined that the incident was an “extrajudicial killing” and possibly a “war crime of willful killing," since al-Salhi did not pose a threat to the soldiers when they riddled him with several bullets.
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