Mohammed Daadas died in hospital on Friday after being shot in the stomach by Israeli troops during weekly protests against the expansion of illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Six other Palestinians were treated at the scene of confrontations in the village of Beit Dajan, east of Nablus, after inhaling tear gas launched by Israeli troops, the Palestine Red Crescent ambulance service said.
According to Reuters, the Israeli military has tried to defend itself by stating that Palestinians hurled rocks towards its troops at the scene of the incident, and that “the troops responded with riot dispersal means and live fire. We are aware of reports of a killed Palestinian. The incident is under review.”
The Palestinian Red Crescent added that the Israeli army fired live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets, at protesters while also closing off surrounding roads, preventing their ambulances from entering the site. No other serious injuries were reported.
Clashes in Beita
Separately, two other Palestinians were wounded on Friday in clashes in Beita, another West Bank village where locals have struggled for months to dislodge Israeli settlers. According to several news reports, it came days after Israel announced it would advance plans for 3,000 more illegal homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank.
Israel has also advanced plans to build about 1,300 homes for Palestinians in the West Bank, in an attempt to parry global condemnation of settlement construction.
The settler movement has long been happening and has been condemned by the international community. In June, the U.N. accused Israel of violating international law by expanding settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The U.N said the settlements are illegal and urged the country’s new government to halt their expansion immediately.
In the 1967 war, Israel captured East Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and the Gaza Strip. Israel portrays the settlements as a matter of private real estate dispute, but Palestinians and human rights groups view it as a coordinated attempt to erase Palestinian presence.
Hard-line Israelis, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, view Palestinian land in the West Bank as a heartland of Jewish history and have ruled out formal peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, saying he prefers to focus on economic improvements.