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Palestinian teen shot by Israeli forces dies from wounds

Montaser Mohammad Shawa, 16, was hit in the head by Israeli fire earlier this month
Montaser Mohammad Shawa, 16, died two weeks after being shot and wounded by Israeli forces (Social Media)

A Palestinian teenager succumbed to his wounds on Monday after being shot by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank earlier in the month.

Montaser Mohammad Shawa, 16, was shot in the head on 8 February near Balata refugee camp in Nablus, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry.

Doctors at Rafidia Hospital, where Shawa was being treated, were able to resuscitate the teenager when he arrived after being shot. According to doctors at the hospital, Shawa had sustained significant injuries to his mouth and lower lip, and his lower teeth had been destroyed.

In a statement, the Israeli army said that “on the evening of 8 February… armed gunmen fired at soldiers” who were guarding Joseph’s Tomb as Israeli settlers visited the site. The tomb is important to Muslims, Jews, and Christians.

Israeli forces “responded with live fire" and a person was hit, said the Israeli army without elaborating on the circumstances. 

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There is no suggestion that Shawa fired at Israeli soldiers. 

Spike in Israeli violence

The West Bank has seen a spike in violence since Israel intensified raids last year. At least 50 Palestinians have been killed so far this year. 

Last year, Israeli forces killed at least 167 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, the highest death toll in the region in a single year since the Second Intifada

In December, UN experts condemned Israel for the record levels of violence and warned that 2023 could witness an even higher number of casualties. 

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"Unless Israeli forces abandon this dominant settler mindset and rightfully treat Palestinians in the occupied territory as protected persons, Israel's deplorable record in the occupied West Bank will likely deteriorate further in 2023," they said. 

Earlier this week, residents of the Shuafat refugee camp in occupied East Jerusalem accused the Israeli army of employing a policy of “collective punishment” after a marked increase in punitive measures against them in recent days.

The camp witnessed a day of protests and civil disobedience on Sunday in response to a crackdown on residents that was initiated last week by Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right national security minister.

Shurahbeil Alqam, an anti-occupation activist from the camp, said the action was a result of the “racist” decisions Ben-Gvir recently made.

“Israel doesn't want us to stay in Jerusalem. It uses all means to expedite our displacement outside the city, even though the camp is the beating heart of Jerusalem,” Alqam told Middle East Eye.

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