Teen shot as troops clash with Palestinians outside Jerusalem

Soldiers fire in the air to break up protest in Kafr Aqab; Palestinian sources say man shot in the head by troops, while IDF says incidents not necessarily related

Soldier patrol in Qalandia, May 11, 2016. (Flash90)
Soldier patrol in Qalandia, May 11, 2016. (Flash90)

Israel Defense Forces soldiers clashed with Palestinians in a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah Wednesday morning in what the army described as a “very violent” riot sparked by “operational activities.”

Palestinian reports said a man was seriously injured by Israeli gunfire during the riot at Kafr Aqab, while the IDF said a man suffered a gunshot wound but could not immediately confirm a link between the clash and the injury.

Residents threw rocks, Molotov cocktails and pushed burning tires at troops who entered the town north of Jerusalem for “operational activities,” the IDF said.

In response, soldiers fired their weapons into the air, according to the army.

A Palestinian who had been shot and injured arrived at the adjacent Qalandiya checkpoint a short while later seeking medical assistance, the army said.

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Palestinian sources said he had been hurt by the soldiers’ live fire, but an IDF spokesperson maintained that it was not immediately clear if the two incidents were related.

The Palestinian, 17, was taken to Shaare Zedek Medical Center in Jerusalem with “gunshot wounds to the chest and stomach,” according to a hospital spokesperson.

He was in serious condition and rushed into an operating room, the hospital said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent told the official Palestinian news agency Wafa that the teen, who was not named, was seriously wounded in the head by live fire from Israeli forces during the clashes in Kfar Aqab.

Israeli forces also reportedly fired stun grenades, and tear gas during the clashes, Palestinian reports said.

Israel, which carries out nightly arrest raids in Palestinian towns, closed off the West Bank and Gaza Strip for 48 hours beginning midnight Tuesday-Wednesday for Israel’s memorial and independence days.

The closure began at 12:01 a.m. on Wednesday and is expected to end at 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, the army said, though the reopening will be subjected to a “situational assessment.”

The closure took effect soon after an Israeli officer was seriously injured by bombs at a West Bank checkpoint, and after two Israeli women in their 80s were stabbed by masked assailants in a terror attack in Jerusalem earlier in the day.

The soldier, who has not been named, remained in intensive care Wednesday morning and was continuing to be operated on, a hospital spokesperson said.

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