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West Bank teen dies after being shot by Israeli forces

17-year-old Palestinian dies of his wounds after being shot in the chest by Israeli forces in al-Jalazun refugee camp
Israeli soldiers clash on a near-daily basis with Palestinian protesters and stone-throwers in the West Bank (AFP)

A 17-year-old Palestinian boy on Wednesday died in Ramallah of wounds sustained in clashes with Israeli forces a week ago, medics said.

Officials at Ramallah Hospital said Ali Safi, 17, died of a gunshot injury to the chest, according to Reuters.

An Israeli military spokesperson told Middle East Eye via email that the army had opened a "military police investigation in order to examine the circumstances of the incident".
The Palestinian news agency Ma'an reported that Israeli soldiers shot Safi in the chest with a .22-caliber bullet during a protest in al-Jalazun refugee camp on 18 March.

The bullet exited his body through the back, leaving him in serious condition. Safi later fell into a coma.

According to Ma'an, the clashes began when locals gathered to protest against the construction of a wall between al-Jalazun refugee camp and the nearby Israeli settlement of Beit El.

A total of nine Palestinians were injured in the clashes as Israeli forces fired live and rubber-coated bullets at protesters. Four were hit with live rounds and five with rubber-coated rounds.

An Israeli army spokeswoman told Ma'an at the time that "there was a riot of 50 Palestinians" who "hurled rocks at the soldiers and they responded with riot dispersal means."

"Upon their refusal to vacate the area and refrain from further violence, [soldiers] fired a .22 caliber round toward the main instigator," she said. "A hit was confirmed."

The Israeli army has occupied the West Bank since 1967, and soldiers clash on a near-daily basis with Palestinian protesters and stone-throwers.

According to a recent report by Defence for Children International (DCI) Palestine, since the beginning of 2015 at least Palestinian 30 children in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem, have sustained gunshot wounds after Israeli forces used live fire to quell protests.

The 23 March report says that live bullets have "left several children in a critical condition".

"On March 6, Israeli forces shot Moaaz Mahmoud Ramahy, 15, in the chest while confronting Palestinian youth at the entrance of Jalazun refugee camp," the DCI report said.

"The medical report obtained by Defence for Children International Palestine stated that the bullet caused severe internal bleeding, shattered two rib bones, and damaged his right lung. In the same incident, Israeli soldiers also injured Mohammad Rajae Issa Humidat, 16, in the face with live ammunition. Seven other children from Jalazun refugee camp sustained injuries from live fire since January."

Though Israeli military regulations only allow for live fire to be used when Israelis' lives are directly threatened, "
DCIP found no evidence that any of the children injured in 2015 posed such a threat to Israeli troops or settlers."

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