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Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian teen in al-Bireh

Dec. 21, 2018 11:46 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 21, 2018 3:34 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teen, on Thursday night, at the Beit El checkpoint north of al-Bireh City in the central occupied West Bank.

A Ma’an reporter said that the Palestinian Liaison identified the teen as Qassem Muhammad Ali al-Abbasi, 17, from the Silwan town in East Jerusalem.

Initial reports said that the driver of a Palestinian vehicle attempted to drive into the checkpoint before Israeli soldiers opened fire critically injuring him.

However, al-Abbasi’s friends who were with him in the vehicle refuted the Israeli claim, saying that the four of them were heading to Nablus City, in the northern West Bank, but when the road to Nablus was closed they turned back to cross via the Beit El checkpoint.

Muhammad Hani al-Abbasi added that they went into the wrong road when arriving at Beit El and suddenly realized they were inside an illegal Israeli settlement, “as we attempted to go back to the main road we were chased by either Israeli soldiers or settlers, we could barely see as there were not enough lights and it was very dark, they were about ten kilometers far from our vehicle, we kept going and we were between two settlements.”

Al-Abbasi continued to say, “We were surrounded, they randomly opened fire at us, we did not stop, we kept going fast, the vehicle’s glass broke and the tires were punctured.”

He added that one of their friends, Mahmoud al-Abbasi, then started shouting “Qassem… Qassem” as Qassem was in a very difficult condition.

Al-Abbasi added that they called an ambulance before Israeli forces arrived and forced them out of the vehicle, “But Qassem did not move and we told them to get him an ambulance.”

Israeli forces then told the youths to take Qassem out of the vehicle, “we carried him out of the vehicle and he had a bullet in his back as he was sitting behind the driver.”

He added that Israeli policemen then informed them that he was dead, “almost an hour after they kept him on the ground, they took him in an ambulance, they searched us and interrogated us at the checkpoint before they took us in ambulances to a hospital for treatment where the police was waiting for us.”

The Wadi Hilweh Information Center in Silwan said that al-Abbasi was killed by a bullet in the back."

The driver and other passengers sustained bruises and spasms in their extremities, Qassem was the only one who was hit with bullets.

Israeli forces declared the eastern area of the Ramallah and al-Bireh district a closed military zone afterwards.

The Israeli army opened an investigation into the incident.
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