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Palestinian teen said killed by IDF live fire during West Bank clashes

Israeli military says soldier fired towards stone-throwing rioter; Palestinian Red Crescent says 21 injured by live fire in separate protest near Israeli outpost

Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces land amidst Palestinian protesters during confrontations in the town of Beita, near the West Bank city of Nablus, on July 23, 2021, after a protest against the Israeli outpost of Eviatar. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP)
Tear gas canisters fired by Israeli forces land amidst Palestinian protesters during confrontations in the town of Beita, near the West Bank city of Nablus, on July 23, 2021, after a protest against the Israeli outpost of Eviatar. (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP)

A Palestinian teenager was shot and killed by live fire during clashes with the Israeli army near his hometown of Nabi Saleh, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said Friday night.

According to the PA, Mohammad Munir al-Tamimi, 17, was shot in the stomach during clashes with Israeli soldiers on Friday afternoon. He was rushed to a hospital in nearby Salfit in critical condition, where he died later that night.

The Israel Defense Forces said that it would look into the incident, which it said took place while dozens of Palestinians hurled stones at Israeli soldiers during a riot next to the town.

“During the riots, a Palestinian suspect threw stones in a manner that fatally threatened one of the soldiers. The soldier initiated an arrest procedure that included gunfire towards the suspect,” the army said.

Friday saw clashes break out at various friction points across the West Bank. In Beita, a Palestinian town near Nablus, hundreds of Palestinians gathered to demonstrate against Israeli presence on a nearby hilltop known in Arabic as Jabal Sbeih, which is home to the empty illegal outpost Evyatar.

According to the Israeli military, hundreds of Palestinians clashed with Israeli soldiers, throwing stones. Two Israeli soldiers were lightly wounded, the IDF said.

Another MARTYR Mohammad Munerr Al Tamimi, 17 have just murdered after being shot by the Israeli occupation forces today in Nabi Saleh.

Posted by Bilal Tamimi on Friday, July 23, 2021

“Troops operating at the scene used riot dispersal means and Ruger bullets,” an army spokesperson said. The latter are a form of live fire whose impact, while less severe than that of ordinary bullets, can still be lethal.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 21 Palestinians were shot by Israeli live fire, and another 68 were injured with rubber bullets. Around 195 suffered from tear gas inhalation.

The protests began weeks ago when Israeli settler nationalists reestablished Evyatar on Jabal Sbeih. Hundreds of settlers flowed into the area, regularly holding events in an attempt to push the state to legalize the land grab.

Palestinians say the plot is land privately owned by Beita residents. Israeli authorities have not yet determined whether that is the case.

A Palestinian protester uses a slingshot to throw stones during clashes with Israeli security forces in the town of Beita, near Nablus city in the West Bank, on July 2, 2021, amid ongoing rallies in the Palestinian town protesting the newly-established settler outpost of Eviatar on a nearby hill (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP)

Every Friday beginning in June, Palestinian demonstrators have marched toward the outpost, hurling stones at Israeli forces and setting tires ablaze. The IDF responds with rubber bullets and, occasionally, live fire. Four Palestinians have died from Israeli fire in the clashes.

After dark, Palestinian “night confusion units” would shine lasers, chant slogans and burn tires in an attempt to irritate the hilltop’s new residents. The tactic was borrowed from a similar strategy used by Gaza-based groups along the border fence with Israel.

In an attempt to lower tensions in the area, the Israeli government reached an agreement with the settlers to vacate the outpost. In exchange, the makeshift buildings they installed will remain in place, the IDF will turn the area into a makeshift base and over the next several months, the Defense Ministry will survey the land to determine its status and see if it can be legally transformed into a formal settlement.

Palestinian residents of Beita have not accepted this arrangement, however, and have vowed to continue protesting until Israeli presence on Jabal Sbeih ends.

“This was an agreement that was made without any representatives from the landowners in Beita. It’s just the Israeli occupation and its settlers,” said Beita deputy mayor Mousa Hamayel in a phone call. “As long as there is no access to the land, there will continue to be a natural response.”

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