Settler shoots, critically injures Palestinian near Gush Etzion

10:00 Oct 25 2015 near Gush Etzion settlement

BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- An Israeli settler shot and critically wounded a young Palestinian man after he allegedly attempted to attack him between the West Bank village of Sair and the illegal Gush Etzion settlement bloc on Sunday morning, Palestinian security sources said.

Locals told Ma'an that another seven Palestinians were shot and injured by Israeli forces during a raid into the nearby village of Sair following the incident.

The Palestinian man, identified by security sources as 20-year-old Azzam Azmi Shalalda from Sair, was reportedly shot four times and taken to al-Ahli Hospital in Hebron in critical condition.

The 58-year-old settler, who was lightly injured during the incident, told Israel's Channel 10 that he had been driving outside the settlement when stones were thrown at his car.

He alleged that when he got out of his car, Shalalda attempted to stab him. He said he then took his gun from the car and opened fire.
A spokesperson for Hadassah hospital in Ein Kerem said that the settler had received a light "stab" wound to his chest, and had possibly been hit with a stone in his head.

However, Palestinian witnesses told Ma'an that they believed the alleged Palestinian attacker fled the scene unharmed and that Shalalda had been working in agricultural fields when he was shot.
They added that following the incident, Israeli forces had chased a Palestinian vehicle between the nearby villages of Sair and al-Shuyoukh.

An Israeli army spokesperson said that the Israeli was "attacked" by a suspected Palestinian after he stepped out of his car to confront a group of Palestinians who were allegedly throwing stones at passing vehicles.

She said "the assailant fled from the scene," and had no information of any Palestinians being either shot or detained during the incident.
The mayor of Sair, Kayed Jradat told Ma'an that Israeli forces shot and injured seven Palestinians during a raid into the village carried out after the incident.

Dr. Zuheir Jaradat, who works at the town's al-Mamoon clinic, said that one of the victims sustained serious wounds when he was shot in the eye, while another man was hit with a live round in his thigh and also taken to hospital.

During the raid, Israeli forces inspected cars and checked the identities of villagers, the mayor added. He said that Palestinians in the village closed their stores out of fear of attacks by Israeli forces.
An Israeli police spokesperson confirmed that the area had been sealed off.
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