Palestinian man shot with live ammo at protest

IDF says soldiers fired live bullets into the air while fearing for their lives at Nabi Saleh; activists deny the army's account.

Security forces detain a Palestinian in Nabi Saleh 370 (R) (photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
Security forces detain a Palestinian in Nabi Saleh 370 (R)
(photo credit: Mohamad Torokman / Reuters)
A Palestinian man was shot during the weekly demonstration in Nabi Salih, northwest of Ramallah, on Friday afternoon.
The bullet passed through the activist’s hand before hitting him in the hip, a spokeswoman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee said.
The man was undergoing surgery at a hospital in Ramallah, where PSCC spokeswoman Abir Kopty said the damage to his hand appeared serious.
The IDF Spokesman’s Office confirmed that live fire was used at the demonstration, but said initial checks indicated the shots were fired into the air. According to the army spokesman, Palestinians surrounded several soldiers, who felt “an imminent threat to their lives.” The soldiers then fired live ammunition into the air along with riot dispersal measures.
Kopty denied that assertion, however, citing several witnesses.
An IDF crowd dispersal projectile struck another protester in the head, and the protester was also being treated at the Ramallah hospital, Kopty said.
The IDF said the incident was being reviewed, adding that during the course of the demonstration “dozens of Palestinians hurled rocks at IDF soldiers, who responded with riot dispersal measures.”
The IDF Spokesman’s Office said it was unaware of any injuries sustained by security forces.
Nabi Salih residents have staged demonstrations since 2009, saying the nearby Neveh Tzuf (Halamish) settlement has taken over a village spring.
The IDF says the protests at Nabi Salih are illegal.
On December 11, 2011, a tear-gas canister fired from a range of several meters struck 28-year-old Mustafa Tamimi in the head and killed him. A sequence of still photos appeared to show the back door of an IDF armored jeep opening, and a rifle being aimed at Tamimi and subsequently firing the canister toward him.
On December 23, an army sharpshooter shot a protester in the leg with a 0.22 caliber bullet. The IDF at the time said the man was targeted when he was identified throwing stones at security forces.