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Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank

12:00 May 12 2017 Nabi Saleh, Beita junction, Beit Furik checkpoint, Kafr Qaddum, Beit Ummar,

Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank Israeli forces kill 23-year-old Palestinian, injure dozens during clashes in West Bank
Description
Photo:
Picture of 23-year-old Saba Abu Ubeid from the West Bank district of Salfit, killed by Israeli forces during clashes in Nabi Saleh, Ramallah. Published by Maan News

Scenes. Published by Maan News

Saba Abu Ubeid, moments after being shot by an Israeli sniper, May 12, 2017. Ubeid was pronounced dead in hospital shortly after. (Miki Kratsman/Activestills.org). Published by 972mag

The funeral of Saba Abu Ubeid, 23, who was shot and killed by an Israeli sniper, May 12, 2017. (Haidi Motola/Activestills.org). Published by 972Mag
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BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces killed a 23-year-old Palestinian in the village of Nabi Saleh in the central occupied West Bank district of Ramallah on Friday, after clashes broke out during a march in the village in support of some 1,300 Palestinians on a mass hunger strike across Israeli prisons, while dozens of other Palestinians were injured when clashes erupted in several other areas across the occupied territory.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israel's use of excessive force against Palestinian protesters, which typically includes shooting rubber bullets, real bullets, tear gas canisters, stun grenades, and a variety of other weapons -- most of which have the potential to cause fatalities -- at Palestinians throwing rocks and the occasional Molotov cocktail.
Ramallah

In the Ramallah-area village of Nabi Saleh, Saba Abu Ubeid, a resident of the West Bank district of Salfit, was killed after being hit in the chest with a live bullet shot by Israeli forces, after clashes erupted during the village’s weekly march, according to the Palestinian ministry of health.

The ministry said that medical crews transported Abu Ubeid to the Salfit governmental hospital after he was shot, at which time his condition was reported as critical. However, he was later declared dead by the ministry.

The village had launched their weekly march following Friday prayers in solidarity with the hundreds of Palestinian prisoners on their 26th day of a mass hunger strike across Israeli prisons.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that "dozens of Palestinians were throwing rocks in Nabi Saleh." In response to the "immediate threat" and in order to "preserve quiet in the region," Israeli forces used "crowd dispersal means" on the Palestinian demonstrators. The spokesperson said she was aware that "one of the rioters had died and another was injured."

She confirmed that the Israeli army had opened live ammunition on the group of unarmed protesters.

Abu Ubeid is the 21st Palestinian to be killed by Israeli forces and settlers since the start of 2017, several of whom were also shot dead amid clashes with Israeli forces.

Nablus

Meanwhile, at least 66 Palestinians were injured in the northern West Bank district of Nablus when clashes erupted with Israeli forces. One Palestinian was injured with a live bullet, several were injured by rubber-coated steel bullets, while dozens of others suffered from tear gas inhalation, according to the head of the ambulance service for the Palestinian Red Crescent in Nablus, Ahmad Jibreel.

Witnesses said that clashes erupted between hundreds of Palestinians and Israeli forces following Friday prayers, when Palestinians marched towards the Beita junction and Beit Furik checkpoint in a demonstration in support of the hunger strikers.

Jibreel told Ma'an that the Red Crescent had provided treatment to 40 Palestinians who had suffered from tear gas inhalation at the Beita junction, while 16 were injured with rubber bullets. He noted that clashes at the Beita junction were still ongoing as of 4 p.m.

Jibreel added that Israeli forces had directly opened live ammunition on three Red Crescent ambulances during clashes near Beit Furik, causing damage to the ambulances, including shattering windshields.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on clashes in Nablus.

Qalqiliya

In Qalqiliya, Murad Shteiwi, the coordinator of the popular resistance in the Kafr Qaddum village, said that Israeli border police suppressed the village’s weekly march by firing tear gas canisters and rubber-coated bullets at demonstrators, causing tens of Palestinians to suffer from tear gas inhalation.

He added that Palestinians had set tens of rubber tires on fire in response to the Israeli forces raiding the village.

Shteiwi noted that the march was organized by the Fatah movement and the popular committee in order to commemorate the 69th anniversary of the “Nakba” (catastrophe) when some 750,000 Palestinians were expelled from their lands in what became Israel. Nakba is officially celebrated on May 15.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an she would look into reports on clashes in Kafr Qaddum.

Hebron

In the southern West Bank district of Hebron, a number of Palestinians also suffered from tear gas inhalation during clashes with Israeli forces in the village of Beit Ummar.

Local activist Muhammad Ayyad Awad told Ma’an that Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters at protesters after suppressing a march organized in the village in solidarity with the hunger strike.

He said that Palestinians responded to Israeli forces by throwing rocks and empty bottles at soldiers and setting fire to rubber tires.

Awad added that Israeli soldiers had stationed themselves on the roof of a house belonging to Mahmoud Saleh Abu Ayyash and began firing tear gas at youths, who were then provided treatment on the scene by medical crews.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma'an that a "violent riot" broke out among some 50 Palestinians in Beit Ummar who "rolled burning tires" at Israeli forces. "In order to prevent an escalation of the riot," she said, Israeli forces used "riot dispersal means" on the protesters.
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By Lisa Goldman |Published May 13, 2017 by 972Mag

Israeli sniper shoots dead unarmed Palestinian at West Bank demo

Israeli security forces have shot and killed 21 Palestinians with live ammunition so far in 2017; Saba Abu Ubeid, 23, is the latest victim.

An Israeli army sniper shot and killed an unarmed Palestinian man on Friday afternoon during a demonstration in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh, near Ramallah. Saba Abu Ubeid, 23, was hit in his upper body and evacuated to an area hospital, where he was pronounced dead by attending physicians. The cause of death was internal bleeding, according to a spokesperson for the Palestinian Authority’s Ministry of Health.

The demonstration was organized to express support for the Palestinian prisoners’ hunger strike, now in its third week.

An Israeli army spokesperson confirmed that security forces had opened live fire in Nabi Saleh “in response to an immediate threat” posed by “dozens” of stone-throwing protestors.

But according to several eyewitnesses, including Israeli photojournalist Miki Kratsman, Israeli security forces in the village wore protective riot gear and were shielded by a concrete wall. The protestors were standing at least 50 meters away.

“There were very few stone throwers,” Sarit Michaeli, the international advocacy officer for Israeli human rights NGO B’Tselem, told +972 Magazine. Michaeli, who was present at the demonstration, added that “Most of the youths were standing very far away from the soldiers,” and said it was the soldiers who approached the demonstrators, thereby escalating the confrontation, and not the other way around.

B’Tselem has been tracking the army’s use of live ammunition on unarmed Palestinian protestors for over seven years, with several reports on various incidents posted to its website. The bullets commonly used in these situations are .22 caliber, colloquially known as “two-twos.” They are less deadly than the higher caliber 5.6 bullets, said Michaeli, but they do penetrate human flesh and are considered lethal weapons.

The sniper’s ostensible goal is to aim at the legs and knees of the demonstrators, in order to incapacitate them. The bullets can break a knee or a femur, but are lethal when they hit the upper body. The two-two that killed Saba Abu Abeid hit him in the torso, making him the 21st Palestinian to be killed by live ammunition shot by Israeli security forces since the beginning of 2017.

Michaeli explained that snipers aim and shoot “in a very organized manner,” with the shooter taking a position on a rooftop while a colleague sits next to him to give instructions and a third soldier keeps a written record of each shot. She added that while Abu Ubeid was the only fatality, there were several injuries. Israeli security forces also fired on demonstrators with rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas canisters.

The army has never denied that it uses live ammunition on demonstrators. They justify it by claiming that stones are weapons, and by vastly exaggerating the specifics of each incident involving armed soldiers versus Palestinian demonstrators. When there is a handful of young men throwing fist-sized stones from a significant distance at soldiers wearing protective riot gear, the army will claim they present an authentic threat to the lives of the soldiers. Or the spokesperson will omit the detail about soldiers initiating a violent confrontation with unarmed demonstrators who have not approached them.

Israeli reporters for established media outlets almost never attend these demonstrations. If they do report shooting incidents that end with the death of a Palestinian, they will base the story on the statement from the army spokesperson’s office. Except in very rare instances, they do not fact check the army’s statements or publish statements from Palestinian eyewitnesses or ministry officials.

The village of Nabi Saleh has a population of about 500; it lies across the road from the Israeli settlement of Halamish, which is built on land expropriated from the village. Friday’s demonstration came following a long period of quiet in Nabi Saleh, after several years in which the villagers, who are almost all related and share the last name of Tamimi, demonstrated every Friday afternoon to protest the settlement’s appropriation of one of their water sources. But the demonstrations came at a very high cost, with several fatalities and injuries, and with the jailing of Bassem Tamimi, one of the organizers of the protests, for a year.


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