Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli forces at anti-settlement protest near Nablus

Palestinian teen shot dead by Israeli forces at anti-settlement protest near Nablus
Mohammed Hamayel, 15, was shot in the head while protesting against settlers attempting to seize Mount Al-Arma, an archaeological site near Nablus, in the northern West Bank.
2 min read
11 March, 2020
Palestinian youths bombarded by tear gas during the protest near Nablus on 11 March[Getty]
A Palestinian teenager was fatally shot by Israeli forces early on Wednesday morning during a protest outside the city of Nablus against Israeli settlement expansion.

Mohammed Hamayel, 15, "died as a result of being shot in the face with live ammunition,” by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank, a statement from the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Israeli army said it was looking into the incident.

Official Palestinian news agency WAFA reported that Israeli forces stormed the area of Mount Al-'Arma, south of Nablus, and opened fire on Palestinians staging a sit-in, using live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas. 

Hundreds had gathered at the top of the mount as part of a daily sit-in to defend the territory from being seized by nearby settlers.

Tarif Ashour, spokesman for the Health Ministry, said medics at the nearby Rafidia Hospital treated 17 casualties, including head of the Anti-Wall and Settlement Committee Walid Assaf and Palestine TV reporter in Nablus Baker Abdul-Haq.

Of the casualties, two were injured by live ammunition and a further four by rubber-coated steel bullets. 

Israeli soldiers prevented ambulances from reaching the scene of the shooting in order to treat the Palestine TV crew, according to WAFA.

The Mayor of the nearby town of Beita, Fuad Ma'ali, said that settlers renewed an attempt to seize the land at the top of the mountain on Tuesday night, but were repelled by the sit-in.

Residents of Beita have staged daily sit-ins atop the mountain, the highest peak in the area, since 28 February, when settlers first made an attempt to grab the territory.

The mountain contains a Bronze Age archaeological site including walls of an ancient castle and seven water tanks hewn into the rock.

Many Israeli settlements are built on the West Bank’s highest peaks and on top of water reserves, giving them privileged access to previous water resources.

The area surrounding the northern West Bank city of Nablus has one of the highest concentrations of Israeli settlements and has often been a flashpoint for violence and settler attacks on Palestinians, which have become commonplace.

Two Palestinians youths were assaulted by Israeli settlers on Wednesday morning in nearby Huwwara, said a settlement watchdog.

Ghassan Daghlas, who monitors settlement construction in the northern West Bank, said a group of settlers beat up the youths and were briefly detained by Israeli soldiers before being transferred to a medical centre for treatment.

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