Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces during Ramallah protest

Mahmoud Nakhleh, 18, was shot in the abdomen during a protest against the Israeli army in the al-Jalazun refugee camp.

    Palestinian medics carry away an injured Palestinian during a protest near the Beit El Israeli checkpoint in Ramallah [Anadolu Agency]
    Palestinian medics carry away an injured Palestinian during a protest near the Beit El Israeli checkpoint in Ramallah [Anadolu Agency]

    A Palestinian teenager has been killed by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Ramallah.

    The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the deceased as 18-year-old Mahmoud Nakhleh, who was shot in the abdomen during a protest against the Israeli army in the al-Jalazun refugee camp on Friday.

    According to Maan, a local Palestinian news agency, Israeli soldiers shot Nakhleh from a distance of fewer than 10 metres. 

    The soldiers tried to detain Nakhleh afterwards, Maan reported, but Palestinian paramedics were able to take him after a standoff that lasted more than 30 minutes. Nakhleh was transferred to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.

    Translation: The martyr Mahmoud Nakhleh who died after being targeted by the [Israeli] occupation's bullets in the Jalazun refugee camp north of Ramallah.

    Fadwa Safi, a resident of the Jalazun camp, told Al Jazeera that the soldiers dragged Nakhleh and beat him up. The 42-year-old was in her home when her sister called to say there was a boy who was injured by a bullet and was being dragged by the army.

    "I stepped out of my home and then I saw them carrying him and beating him while he's injured," Safi said. "Four soldiers were dragging him and there were around seven additional soldiers walking with them."

    "I ran after them," she continued. "They threw a sound grenade at me and told me to go home, but I said I'm not going - I want the boy because he still had life in him, he was still breathing and moving. They threw him on the ground."

    Safi said the ambulance was already present but that the soldiers wouldn't let it enter the camp at first.

    "One soldier pointed his rifle at me," she said. "I told him: shoot me, I want the boy."

    "I had hoped to save him and I couldn't," she wept. "I was happy when I took him [because I thought] he could be rescued. I didn't know he was dying."

    The Israeli army did not immediately comment on the teen's death.

    Protests ongoing 

    Ramallah was under a complete lockdown by the Israeli army on Thursday, following a shooting attack by an unknown Palestinian who killed two Israeli soldiers near the illegal settlement of Ofra. 

    Most of the entry checkpoints were reopened on Friday, but Israeli forces remained heavily deployed on the outskirts of Ramallah and they carried out sporadic raids in the twin city of al-Bireh, resulting in Palestinians protesting against their presence.

    According to the Palestinian Prisoners' Club, at least 100 Palestinians have been arrested over the past 24 hours. Four Palestinians were killed by Israeli forces in separate operations overnight on Wednesday and on Thursday afternoon. 

    Protests against the Israeli army continued across the occupied West Bank. In the village of al-Lubban al-Gharbiyeh near Nablus, a Palestinian youth was injured with a rubber-coated steel bullet to his eye.

    Other protests took place in the Taqu'a village east of Bethlehem and in Hebron's Old City, where dozens suffered from tear gas inhalation and sustained wounds from rubber-coated bullets.

    'Resistance a legitimate right'

    Meanwhile, 75 protesters were wounded in the 38th weekly Friday demonstrations in the Gaza Strip, including seven paramedics and two journalists, the ministry of health said.

    The Higher National Commission of the Great March of Return dubbed Friday's protest the "resistance is a legitimate right", following the recent events in the West Bank.

    Protesters in Gaza expressed their support of the demonstrations in the West Bank and called for a "popular intifada" against Israeli occupation.

    "When I saw what happened in the West Bank, I insisted to come along to the weekly protest with my family," Umm Ibrahim al-Hajj told Al Jazeera.

    "I call on the people of the West Bank to not stop resisting against the Israeli occupation," the 60-year-old continued. "Resistance is the only way to liberate our lands."

    For his part, Hamas spokesperson Abdallatif al-Qanou told Al Jazeera that Palestinians in Gaza are closely following the events in the West Bank.

    "Palestinians send a message that they will continue protests until achieving their goal of ending the siege on Gaza, and moving forward to achieve their goals of ending the occupation and restoring the Palestinian lands," he said.

    A protester in the Gaza Strip holds a poster with the pictures of the three Palestinians killed by Israeli forces overnight on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank [Maram Humaid/Al Jazeera]

    Khalil al-Hayya, a senior Hamas official told Al Jazeera that "Palestinians will resist the occupation with all possible legitimate forms."

    Al-Hayya applauded the "efforts" in the West Bank and called for more resistance against Israel.

    "We are a people under occupation," he said.

    Al-Hayya also denounced the security coordination policy followed by Palestinian Authority and called them to stop it immediately and to stop chasing activists in the West Bank protesting against the Israeli occupation.

    Additional reporting by Ibrahim Husseini and Maram Humaid

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News