BETHLEHEM - Israeli security forces seriously wounded a Palestinian youth during clashes near Bethlehem on Friday, Palestinian medical officials said.
The 15-year-old was hit in the face by a bullet during clashes in Aida, a West Bank refugee camp north of Bethlehem, and was taken to hospital in Beit Jala, medical officials said.
The youth was later transferred to Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem hospital for further treatment.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military alleged that “approximately 30 Palestinians hurled an explosive device and blocks at security personnel at the checkpoint near Rachel’s Tomb”.
“An initial inquiry suggests that during the riot, a Palestinian suspect approached the soldiers using a sling to hurl rocks. Sensing immediate danger, IDF soldiers fired at the suspect’s legs,” the spokeswoman claimed, adding that soldiers used live ammunition.
“The suspect was evacuated by the Red Crescent to hospital for further treatment. The incident is currently being reviewed,” she said.
Clashes between Palestinians from Aida and Israeli army and police have been taking place for over a month now, with Palestinians targeting the military towers that overlook the separation barrier near Rachel’s Tomb.
The military spokeswoman noted that several soldiers and Israeli citizens were wounded in past weeks during such events.
On Tuesday, a 17-year-old Palestinian died after being hit by three bullets in the West Bank village of Budrus, the fourth Palestinian shot dead in the West Bank and Gaza since last Friday.