Israeli girl, 13, critically hurt by gunfire in West Bank’s Kiryat Arba

Injury thought to have been caused by errant shots from adjacent Palestinian city of Hebron

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

The Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba is pictured near the West Bank city of Hebron on November 19, 2019. (Hazem Bader/AFP)
The Israeli settlement of Kiryat Arba is pictured near the West Bank city of Hebron on November 19, 2019. (Hazem Bader/AFP)

A 13-year-old Israeli girl was shot and critically wounded under unclear circumstances in the West Bank settlement of Kiryat Arba on Thursday, medics said.

The Magen David Adom ambulance service said the teenager, who was hit by gunfire while walking down a street in the settlement, was first brought to a local health clinic.

MDA said its medics took the unconscious girl to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for further treatment.

The hospital said the girl was hit in the head by a bullet. It was not immediately clear if she was targeted or hit by errant gunfire from the adjacent Palestinian city of Hebron.

The Ynet news site reported that it was likely errant gunfire, based on the entry wound that was on the top of her head. It was thought that the bullet was fired from Hebron into the air, and landed on the girl.

Residents of Kiryat Arba have long complained about gunfire emanating from Hebron toward the settlement.

“We demand that security forces carry out scans and find the source of the shooting,” the settlement’s spokesperson said in a statement following the shooting Thursday.

The Israel Defense Forces said it was conducting searches in the area. “The circumstances of the incident are under investigation,” the military added.

The incident came after an Israeli man was shot dead and four others were hurt in Hebron on Saturday night. The terrorist was rammed by a security guard and shot dead by an off-duty soldier.

Tensions have soared in the West Bank recently as the IDF pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank. It has netted more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids.

It has also left over 125 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

The IDF’s anti-terror offensive in the West Bank was launched following a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 19 people earlier this year.

Another Israeli was killed in a suspected attack last month, and four soldiers have been killed in the West Bank in attacks and during the arrest operations.

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