IDF troops, settlers shoot Palestinians in West Bank, killing 9 in deadly weekend

Palestinians killed in separate incidents Friday; tensions in West Bank continue after massive clashes on Thursday left one Palestinian dead.

IDF soldiers at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem [Illustrative] (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
IDF soldiers at Damascus Gate in east Jerusalem [Illustrative]
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Nine Palestinians were killed during clashes with the IDF and Border Police over the weekend, in one of the deadliest days in the West Bank in the last 10 years.
Nasri Mahmoud, 14, was killed late Friday night in Beit Fajar, near Bethlehem, Palestinian medics and witnesses said.
Palestinians hurled stones, and soldiers responded with stun grenades and live and rubber bullets, the sources said.
In Jenin, Basem Abu Alrub, 19, was killed and Eid Rabah Fdilat, 28, was killed in the Arroub refugee camp near Hebron on Friday, according to Palestinian sources.
They said he was a bystander who was walking home from the mosque.
They also said three Palestinians were killed in stone-throwing protests in the village of Beit Umar near Hebron.
The clashes began during a demonstration against Operation Protective Edge, which was held after the midday prayer at a local mosque.
Hashem Abu Maria, 45, was shot in the chest. Abu Maria works at the Defense for Children International organization, the sources said.
Palestinian sources said as the clashes raged on, 30-year-old Sultan Zaqiq and 39-year-old Abdul Hamid Bregeith were both shot and killed by IDF troops.
In a separate incident near another protest against the conflict in Gaza, witnesses said a person in a car, believed to be a settler, shot dead Khaled Azmi Odeh, 18, and wounded three others near Nablus.
The victims were walking along a main street used by both Palestinians and settlers.
Clashes between Border Police and Palestinian youths throwing Molotov cocktails and fireworks escalated. A Reuters photographer witnessed the forces shoot and kill another, Tayeb Shehadeh, 22.
Border Police could not comment on reports that two Palestinians had been killed, but said the incident was particularly violent. A spokesman said Palestinians threw stones, Molotov cocktails and fireworks at the officers and at Israeli cars on the road. One officer was injured by a cement block.
Separately, early Friday, Muhammad al-Araj, 18, sustained a head injury during clashes that broke out with the IDF near the Kalandiya checkpoint between the capital and Ramallah.
Neither the IDF nor the Border Police could confirm reports that Palestinians had been killed in clashes.
More than 15,000 Palestinians marched from Ramallah towards Jerusalem and clashed with the Israeli army until the early hours of Friday, in the largest such demonstration in close to a decade.
One demonstrator, Mohammed Al-Araj, 18, from the nearby Kalandia refugee camp, was killed. He sustained a head injury during clashes that broke out as demonstrators neared the Kalandia check point. Another demonstrator is in critical condition.
Some 265 Palestinians were wounded and were transferred from the area of the checkpoint by ambulances, Palestinian Health Ministry spokesman Osama Al-Najjar told The Jerusalem Post.
Wearing black shirts that read “Freedom and national dignity” and “#48 thousand march” in Arabic, participants marched in solidarity with the people of Gaza and to demand free access to the Al-Aqsa mosque.
Thursday was Laylat Al-Qader (Night of Value), which is the night Muslims believe the Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed.
Every year, large numbers spend the night in Al-Aqsa mosque praying and asking for forgiveness.  
Last year, some 400,000 worshippers attended Laylat Al-Qader at Al-Aqua mosque as Israel allowed a limited number of Muslims to enter the city from checkpoints around the West Bank.  
This year, however, the Israeli security closed Kalandia checkpoint earlier on Thursday with cement blocks and a high fence to prevent protestors from crossing.
Protestors first gathered at 9 p.m. on Thursday at Al-Amari refugee camp in Ramallah. One participant stood on a pick-up car and led them in chants that spoke of heading to Jerusalem and supporting Gaza.
As the protest approached the Kalandia refugee camp, around 300 meters away from the checkpoint, many families stopped marching because they feared the IDF. Most of those who continued forward were young men.
The Israeli army stopped the protest with riot dispersal means that included tear gas, rubber bullets and live ammunition.  Palestinians hurled stones and Molotov cocktails at the IDF.
At the checkpoint, ambulances were heard throughout the rest of the demonstration. A local center at the entrance of the camp was made into a local hospital to treat patients.
“All the wounded people were hit by live ammunition,” Al-Najar  charged.  
Al-Najjar noted that a high number of injuries were located in the upper body area of head, neck, chest and arms.
Seven severely injured demonstrators were taken to the Ramallah Medical Complex, one of whom had a bullet lodged near their heart.
“We conducted an open heart surgery and were able to remove the bullet.  Most of the serious cases are now in serious but stable conditions,” Al-Najjar said.  
A Palestinian Authority Minister who participated in the march was injured in the leg.
Hundreds of Palestinians rushed to the hospital in Ramallah in response to pleas of blood donations. The hospital couldn’t keep up with the number of wounded that streamed through their doors.
Some 170 people were Ramallah Medical Complex while the rest of the wounded were taken to other hospitals in the city.
“We sent the lighter cases of those hit with on the legs to other hospitals to keep more room for complicated cases that can only be performed in the Ramallah medical complex,” Al-Najjar told the Post.
Clashes continued until the early hours of the morning. When it was over Kalandia looked like a war zone.
The road was littered with rocks, and marble balls. The well-known graffiti of Yasser Arafat at the cement wall and the nearby military tower were fire charred.
The march was a grassroots effort by local activists and non-governmental members, some of whom used Facebook to spread the word.
Officials and representatives from different segments of the political spectrum participated, in a show of national unity. Men and women of all ages, including children joined the march. The diverse crowd also included university professors, students, activists and government workers.
The Palestinian flag was the only one hoisted at the demonstration as party flags were banned. A large banner bore the drawing of the Palestinian flag; the names of the Palestinians killed in Gaza were printed on the flag.
Separately clashes broke out in east Jerusalem and the Old City between Palestinians, Border Police and Israeli Police, in which 40 Palestinians were arrested and 29 police were lightly injured.
Tovah Lazaroff and Reuters contributed to this report.