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West Bank: Palestinian toddler and father in critical condition after Israeli shooting

A three-year-old Palestinian boy and his father (40) were critically wounded by Israeli gunfire near a West Bank settlement
Israeli military personnel near the location of the shooting (TPS)

A Palestinian toddler and his father were shot by Israeli security forces yesterday near the West Bank settlement of Neve Tsuf.

They are both reported to be in critical condition.

The man was taken to a Palestinian hospital and the boy was reportedly airlifted to Israel’s Sheba hospital after being resuscitated by medics.

The Israeli army claimed the shooting was unintentional, and that the child and his parent were wounded by stray bullets during an alleged attack by Palestinian gunmen on a military post near the settlement.

However, according to residents of Nebi Saleh, a military patrol unit at the entrance to the town opened fire on a car carrying Palestinians when they refused to stop.

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Shaky footage taken by a resident reportedly shows the pair badly injured in a parked car outside their home.

An Israeli army spokesperson has said that the military “regrets harm to noncombatants” and that it does “everything in its power to prevent such incidents".

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The casualties are the latest in an escalating wave of settler violence against Palestinians in the occupied West Bank.

According to UN figures, settler attacks have been growing steadily year-on-year since 2016.

But in recent months, violence has spiked. Israeli forces and settlers killed 150 Palestinians in 2022, making it the deadliest year of Israeli violence in the West Bank, according to UN experts.

Save the Children reported that 2022 was also the deadliest year for Palestinian children in the West Bank since 2006.

The killing of 17-year-old Mahmoud al-Sadi while he was on his way to school in the West Bank city of Jenin, and of 16-year-old Ahmad Shehadeh during a late-night raid in Nablus, brought the death toll for 2022 to 34.

Approximately 700,000 Israelis live in over 200 settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem that are illegal under international law.

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