Israeli troops have shot dead a Palestinian and injured others during a protest against illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry and medics have said.
Imad Ali Mohammad Dweikat, 38, was shot by “a live bullet to the chest” in the town of Beita and was pronounced dead at the hospital in nearby Nablus, the ministry said in a statement on Friday (6 Aug).
Beita sees regular demonstrations against the illegal Israeli occupation and settlement expansion, which often lead to confrontations.
The Israeli military said on Friday that 700 Palestinians had gathered south of the Palestinian city of Nablus, burning tyres and throwing rocks and petrol bombs towards troops and border police.
Israeli forces “responded with riot dispersal means”, the military said in a statement. “We are aware of reports that a Palestinian was killed and a number of Palestinians were injured.”
The Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said 21 other Palestinians had been shot by Israeli troops, most of them with rubber-tipped bullets. Others were treated for tear gas inhalation, it said in a statement.
Last Friday, some 270 Palestinians were wounded in confrontations with Israeli troops during protests in Beita and during the funeral of a young Palestinian killed the day before, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.
On July 23, 320 Palestinians were wounded or suffered from tear gas inhalation in confrontations with Israeli forces in Beita, medics said. A teenager shot by Israeli forces later died of his wounds.
The occupied West Bank is among territories where Palestinians seek statehood. Violence has simmered there since the United States-sponsored talks between the Palestinians and Israel broke down in 2014.
Palestinians have staged near-daily protests in Beita, south of Nablus, to voice anger at a nearby illegal Israeli settler outpost.
The settlers agreed to leave the outpost in July under an agreement with Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, following weeks of demonstrations by Palestinians lighting fires that often engulfed the outpost in smoke.
But some of the outpost’s buildings remained, locked and under military guard. Palestinians, who claim the land the outpost is on, have decided to continue their demonstrations.
Israel occupied the West Bank during the 1967 Six-Day War and all Jewish settlements there are considered illegal by most of the international community.
Almost half a million people live in illegal Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, alongside 2.8 million Palestinians.