IDF shoots, critically injures Hebron rioter

Palestinian rioter said to have thrown Molotov cocktail after long day of clashes surrounding teen's funeral.

Palestinian stone throwers in Hebron after funeral 150 (photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Palestinian stone throwers in Hebron after funeral 150
(photo credit: TOVAH LAZAROFF)
Soldiers shot a Palestinian rioter who they said had thrown a Molotov cocktail Thursday night at officers manning the Hasam Hashoter checkpoint in Hebron.
The incident occurred at the end of a long day, in which Border Police and rioters clashed on the Palestinian side of that checkpoint starting at 9 a.m. Soldiers from the Nahal Brigade were also involved in the incidents.
Palestinians reported that Nasser Sharabati, 17, was critically wounded in the chest by live ammunition and taken to the hospital.
“He was seriously injured, and evacuated to a hospital by the Palestinian Red Crescent,” an IDF spokesman said.
Tensions were high in the Palestinian section of Hebron following a Wednesday evening incident in which a border policewoman killed 17- year-old Muhammad al- Salaymeh at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs.
She said she had shot Salaymeh after she observed him threatening another officer with a gun, which upon investigation turned out to be a fake pistol made of metal.
Salaymeh had celebrated his birthday in school that morning, according to Palestinians. One day later, on Thursday, anguished mourners carried his body through the streets of Hebron.
Angered by the death of teenager, who they believe was innocent of any wrongdoing, Palestinians rioted in Hebron throughout the day, mostly near the Hasam Hashoter checkpoint.
The street in front of the checkpoint was littered with stones that rioters had thrown. They also burned tires.
The Palestinian police failed to disperse the rioters, and IDF soldiers continuously fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets.
Shopkeepers along the street hid in their stores behind closed doors.
At times, the tear gas was so thick that pedestrians blocks away from the violence had to cover their faces with cloths.
Palestinian Authority security sources said that more than 25 Palestinians had been harmed in the violence. Abir Kopty of the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said the number of wounded was as high as 90.
Border Police tried to downplay the significance of the clashes, which lasted for an unusually long time, even though their personnel have been on high alert since Wednesday night.
Border Police and the Judea and Samaria Police subdistrict said that the day’s disturbances were not out of the ordinary for recent protests.
Judea and Samaria Police spokesman Dudi Ashraf said the probe into Salaymeh’s death was still in its initial stages.
When asked if the large number of surveillance cameras that Israeli security forces had posted in the area would yield evidence, he said, “That’s what they’re there for,” and added that time would tell whether “the footage bears fruit.”
Violence also broke out in two places in Samaria.
On Thursday evening, a Palestinian vehicle drove by a bus stop outside the Halamish settlement and made a U-turn, whereupon a window opened in the vehicle and someone inside shot at an Israeli woman who was sitting at the stop. She was not hurt.
Separately, an Israeli man was lightly wounded when a stone was thrown at his vehicle near the Ma’aleh Shomron settlement. Security forces assume the stone-thrower was Palestinian.
All three incidents occurred as Palestinians in the West Bank were beginning to celebrate Hamas’s 25th anniversary, and in the wake of the IDF’s operation in Gaza and the Palestinians’ successful UN bid to upgrade their status.
Security sources said that these developments have probably contributed to an increase in the number of disturbances in the West Bank.
That increase does not, however, constitute the beginning of a third intifada, they said.
Cooperation between the IDF and PA security forces remains in place, and has not decreased in recent weeks.