Israeli forces kill three Palestinians including a baby

Eight-month-old child suffocates from tear gas inhalation, bringing death toll of Palestinians to 69 in one month.

Palestinians decry Israel's heightened security measures which have led to several killings [Al Jazeera/Ezz Zanoun]
Palestinians decry Israel's heightened security measures which have led to several killings [Al Jazeera/Ezz Zanoun]

Three Palestinians – including an eight-month-old baby – have died from Israeli fire and another is critically wounded, while many others were injured in West Bank and Gaza protests.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed on Friday the death of Ramadan Mohammed Faisal Thawabta, the baby who suffocated from tear gas inhalation in a village near Bethlehem.

He died in Beit Fajjar in clashes as the Israeli army sprayed tear gas at Palestinians.

The ministry also confirmed the first incident, citing the death of Qasem Sabaana, 20, and the injury of a 17-year-old, as yet unnamed, at a checkpoint south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank.

An Al Jazeera journalist who witnessed the incident said police fired at least seven shots at the Palestinian now fighting for his life in hospital.

Israeli police claimed that the two Palestinians had approached the checkpoint on a motorbike carrying knives.

Also in Jerusalem on Friday, another Palestinian succumbed to wounds inflicted earlier in the morning.

Train security officers shot the alleged attacker on the light rail in occupied East Jerusalem with live ammunition after he allegedly attacked an Israeli settler, the police said.

Israeli forces regularly fire live ammunition at protesters who gather to demonstrate against the Israeli occupation [Ezz Zanoun/Al Jazeera]

Since October 1, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 69 Palestinians – including unarmed protesters, bystanders and alleged attackers – across Israel, the occupied West Bank, including occupied East Jerusalem, and the Gaza Strip. 

Nine Israelis have died in stabbing or shooting incidents in the same period.

Al Jazeera’s Stefanie Dekker in Jerusalem said the city is heavily policed and Palestinians are monitored closely.

“Israeli security forces have clamped down on occupied East Jerusalem; it’s completely surrounded. People have to walk one by one, Palestinians often have to lift their shirts to show they are not carrying a weapon,” she said. 

Clashes erupt

Outrage over the killings sparked Palestinian-led protests outside the Israeli settlement of Beit El, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.

Around 500 Palestinians protested and clashed with Israeli forces, according to witnesses.

Israeli troops shot at least one protester in the chest with live ammunition, said Mohannad Darabee, a photographer at the clashes.

At least 69 Palestinians have been killed in the month of October as Israeli-Palestinian tensions rise [Ezz Zanoun/Al Jazeera]

“Medics told us he is in critical condition,” he told Al Jazeera, adding that an Israeli Jeep ran over another protester.

Orient Radio, a local media outlet, captured the soldiers running the protester over on video.

“When medics tried to help him and journalists approached the area, the soldiers attacked all of them with pepper spray and [tear] gas. Then they arrested the man [who was run over].

“People are angry about the martyr killed in Nablus. They [Israeli forces] are firing a lot of live ammunition and rubber-coated steel bullets – they are shooting indiscriminately,” Darabee said.

Human rights groups have warned of a risk of vigilantism as many citizens have carried out attacks on Palestinians [Ezz Zanoun/Al Jazeera]

Ezz Zanoun, a Gaza-based photographer, said that clashes are also taking place in areas across Gaza’s border with Israel.

“Two journalists have been hit with rubber-coated steel bullets” near the Nahal Oz Israeli military outpost, he told Al Jazeera, referring to an area near eastern Gaza City.

At least 2,000 people participated in the demonstrations, Zanoun added.

“The Israelis are using rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas,” he said. “Participation in the protests here in Gaza is growing.”

Israeli soldiers cursed at the protesters in Hebrew and Arabic, and waved an Israeli flag at them, witnesses said.

“The soldiers did not wait long to open fire,” said Zanoun. “The feeling among Palestinians is that this has become something routine for them, to fire quickly.”

‘Unlawful measures’

Tension has surged amid resentment over Israeli settlements and the incursions into Al-Aqsa Mosque compound, the third holiest site for Muslims.

Rights groups have slammed Israel for its harsh measures as it continues to crack down on Palestinians.

This week, Amnesty International warned Israeli forces to end its “pattern of unlawful killings”.

“In some cases, Israeli forces appear to have ripped up the rulebook and resorted to extreme and unlawful measures,” the group said.

“They seem increasingly prone to using lethal force against anyone they perceive as posing a threat, without ensuring that the threat is real.”

Demonstrations are being led by young Palestinians who are growing increasingly anxious over lethal force being used as collective punishment [Ezz Zanoun/Al Jazeera]

With additional reporting by Patrick Strickland: Follow him on Twitter @P_Strickland_

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies


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