A 13-year-old boy from the al-Aida refugee camp near Bethlehem was shot and hit in his upper torso during clashes with IDF forces, the Palestinians are claiming. He was rushed to a hospital in Beit Jala in serious condition.
Several hours later, Palestinian sources told Ynet that udai Sarkhan, 16, sustained a head injury during the clashes. He was taken to the Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital in Jerusalem.
During the clashes, several makeshift bombs were hurled at security forces who responded with crowd dispersal means. Earlier on Monday, two Palestinians were lightly injured in the clashes.
- Tensions run high in West Bank
- Abbas: Israel seeks chaos in Palestinian territories
- Unrest may lead to uprising
In Gush Etzion, a soldier sustained light injuries as a result of stones hurled at his direction in the Beit Omar refugee camp. He received medical care at the scene.
According to the Beit Jala Hospital, two bullets hit the Palestinian 13-year-old boy – Muhammad Khaled al-Qurd – one hit his foot, and the other hit his side, causing bleeding in his liver and lungs.
The brand of the bullets is yet to be determined, but according to the IDF, the teen was most likely injured by a Ruger gun, which the army uses. The Ruger gun is traditionally used in the IDF by a sniper as a last resort when dispersing riots, on orders from a high ranking officer and is only aimed at rioters' feet.
The IDF did not confirm that the man who sustained injuries from the Ruger gun is 13-year-old Al-Qurd.
Six other Palestinians sustained injuries Monday from rubber bullets. One Palestinian was arrested.
Tensions rising in West Bank (Photo: Reuters)
Following the escalation, the United States Consulate in Jerusalem barred US government personnel from traveling to the West Bank. It also advised US citizens not to cross the Green Line.
"Demonstrations, even peaceful ones, can turn violent with little or no warning," the message said. "US citizens should be aware of their surroundings at all times, and avoid large crowds."
Defense Minister Ehud Barak held a meeting at his Tel Aviv office with senior security personnel, including IDF chief Benny Gantz, Deputy Police Chief Yisrael Yitzhak, and Prison Service Chief Aharon Franco, to discuss the unrest in the West Bank and possible ways of restoring calm.
Earlier Monday, several protests took place in the West Bank, as dozens of Palestinians gathered in Hebron, Bituniyeh and Beit Anoun. One man was injured in Hebron and was evacuated to a hospital in town by the Red Crescent.
Clashes near Ofer Prison (Photo: Reuters)
In the village of Saeer, northeast of Hebron, Arafat Jaradat, 39, the Palestinian security prisoner who died at the Megiddo Prison over the weekend, was buried with military honors.
Thousands attended the funeral procession. The Palestinian Authority's security forces maintained the order during the service, which had all the markings of a military ceremony.
The funeral was also attended by Islamic Jihad operative Khader Adnan, who said that the situation in the prison brought on the riots. "Israel bears full responsibility as does the Prison Service," he said. Adnan described the treatment of detainees in Israeli prisons as "bullying." He called on the release of prisoners.
Egyptian Foreign Minister Mohamed Amr accused Israel of intervening in the Palestinian Authority's internal affairs and of trying to stir chaos in the West Bank. He warned that Israel's policy will lead to a flare-up and demanded that the international community take a firm stand against Israel's "inhuman" treatment of prisoners.
Itamar Fleishman contributed to this report
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