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Two Palestinians shot by Israeli forces in Bethlehem area village


By Marta Feirra - February 29, 2016
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Two Palestinians were critically injured in clashes with the Israeli army on Sunday in the village of al-Khader, south of Bethlehem.

Palestinian Red Crescent spokeswoman Errab Foqoha told Ma’an News that the two Palestinians were shot in the chest during clashes in the village, and injured “critically.”

One of the victims was identified by locals as dentist Hisham Muhammad Atwan Sbeih. Witnesses said he was in his car parked near the city’s historical gate when he was shot. The other victim was identified as 16-year-old Yazan Omar Salah.

The Red Crescent spokeswoman said Salah was taken to the al-Yamamah hospital in al-Khader, while Sbeih was taken to Beit Jala public hospital.

Witnesses also said Israeli forces surrounded the al-Khader hospital, and stopped an ambulance looking for the wounded. Medical sources confirmed the injured man arrived in a private car.

Al-Khader has been the site of frequent clashes between Israeli forces and local Palestinians in the last months. Over the years, the village has lost significant amounts of private lands due to the expansion of settlements around it.

Settlement construction in the al-Khader area is a part of a strategic plan to link the settlement blocs of Gush Etzion, Efrat and Gilo, which surround Bethlehem, Ma’an news reported.

According to a recent Peace Now report, in 2015 Israeli authorities approved the construction of 1800 new housing units in settlements. The organisation found that 265 housing units were built in illegal outpost, with at least 30 of them being built on private Palestinian land.  

 

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