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Palestinian boy shot dead 'by Israeli settlers' east of Ramallah

Witnesses say Israelis attacked peaceful march from al-Mughayyir village against settler harassment
Israeli forces contain Palestinian protesters during a demonstration against settlement expansion, in the village of al-Mughayer, east of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, on 29 July 2022 (AFP)
By Shatha Hammad in Ramallah, occupied Palestine

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli gunfire allegedly shot by a settler in the village of al-Mughayyir, east of Ramallah, the Palestinian Ministry of Health announced.

The head of the al-Mughayyir village council told MEE that the boy, Amjad Nashaat Abu Alia, was shot dead by settlers who were attacking a peaceful march that started from the village in opposition to escalating settler violence.

Amin Abu Alia confirmed that he was a witness to the shooting. He added that he saw a number of armed settlers accompanied by Israeli soldiers.

Dozens of residents of al-Mughayyir took part in the peaceful march alongside solidarity activists, raising Palestinian flags and chanting slogans.

"The Israeli soldiers began suppressing the march by firing gas bombs and bullets without any justification," Abu Ali told Middle East Eye.

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He said about five young men were shot, three with rubber-coated metal bullets, and two with live ammunition.

Great sadness

Abu Alia said that Amjad's father had cancer and was in a difficult health condition, and had received the news of his son's death with great sadness.

The whole village was in a state of grief and mourning ahead of Amjad's funeral on Saturday, with the ceremony to start from the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah.

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The coordinator of the Agricultural Committee in Al-Mughayyir, Kazem al-Hajj Muhammad, told MEE that the village had witnessed a dangerous escalation in recent months following attacks from settlers protected by Israeli soldiers.

He said settlers pursued farmers, preventing them from reaching their lands, and expelling them from them.

They also frequently detained farmers for hours and severely beat them.

He said the settlers who launched attacks on the village of al-Mughayyir recently had been living for a year-and-a-half inside a settlement outpost they set up inside an army camp built on parts of the village's lands.

"The settlers today were suppressing the march with stones and shooting, and the soldiers stood by and watched... It was about five armed settlers who opened fire at the demonstrators," he said.

Settler attacks on Palestinians across the occupied West Bank have seen an “alarming” rise in 2021, UN human rights experts said in a statement last year. 

According to UN figures, 287 settler attacks led to damage to property so far this year, and a further 77 assaults caused casualties.

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