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Palestinians say boy, 13, shot and killed by IDF in West Bank

Army denies using live fire during demonstration against establishment of new settlement outpost north of Ramallah

Palestinian men assist an injured  protester amid clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expansion of settlements in the town of Salfit, in the West Bank, on December 4, 2020. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP)
Palestinian men assist an injured protester amid clashes with Israeli security forces following a demonstration against the expansion of settlements in the town of Salfit, in the West Bank, on December 4, 2020. (JAAFAR ASHTIYEH/AFP)

A 13-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli soldiers during a demonstration Friday in the West Bank, the Palestinian Authority health ministry said. The IDF denied using live fire.

The boy, identified as Ali Nasr Abu Aliya, was hit during a protest against the establishment of a new settlement outpost north of Ramallah.

Local residents have been holding weekly protests against the outpost for three weeks close to the neighboring village of Kafr Malik, resident Mohammad Abu Aliya, a relative of the boy, told The Times of Israel.

The Palestinian Red Crescent reported that Ali Abu Aliya was evacuated to hospital after being hit in his stomach and seriously wounded. He arrived at the hospital in critical condition, and later died of his wounds.

The Israel Defense Forces said that protesters had thrown stones at soldiers, burned tires and blocked roads. They denied using live fire, but said soldiers used riot dispersal means, including rubber-tipped bullets.

“Dozens of rioters threw stones at IDF and Border Police forces, and even tried to roll large boulders and burning tires from the ridges that overlook the Alon route, risking the lives of passengers on the road,” the IDF spokesperson said.

A spokesperson for the IDF declined to say whether or not an investigation would be conducted into the incident. The spokesperson also declined to say whether the IDF was directly responsible for the shooting, saying only “they were aware of the claims.”

Mohammad Abu Aliya claimed in his call with The Times of Israel that he had been present in the Ramallah hospital when the doctor emerged and informed the family that Ali had been shot with live fire.

Asked why a small child would be at such an event, Abu Aliya said: “When there are clashes with the army, most of the village comes, even if it’s just to watch.”

Another Palestinian witness on the scene, who declined to be identified by name, acknowledged that some of the demonstrators threw stones. But he denied that the Palestinians tried to roll boulders or burning tires onto passersby, calling the claim “nonsense.”

He claimed that the demonstrators were far away from the outpost and from the soldiers, who began to disperse the demonstrators with tear gas as soon as the protest began.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas condemned the shooting, calling it “a hideous crime.”

“This crime shows the ugliness of the occupation against the defenseless Palestinian people. It is the latest in a daily series of killings that cannot be tolerated,” Abbas said in a statement.

Palestinian officials said four other people were also wounded with rubber bullets.

United Nations Special Coordinator for the Middle East Process Nickolay Mladenov wrote on Twitter that he was “appalled” by the shooting.

“#Israel must swiftly and independently investigate this shocking and unacceptable incident. Children enjoy special protection under international law and must be protected from violence,” Mladenov said.

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