A Palestinian toddler has been seriously wounded and his father hurt after being shot by Israeli army fire in the occupied West Bank.
The child, who is two years old according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa, was in a critical condition on Friday morning, doctors said.
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Palestinian authorities said the wounded were sitting in a car late on Thursday when they came under fire. The 40-year-old man was taken to a hospital in Ramallah, while his son was ferried to Israel’s Sheba hospital by helicopter.
The incident was part of an Israeli military ambush in the village of Nabi Saleh, northwest of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, according to Palestinian news agency Wafa. Activist Bilal Tamimi was quoted as saying that the Israeli forces shut the village’s entrance and opened fire at a vehicle. He added that the child, who is reportedly two years old, was seriously wounded in the head.
The Israeli army said in a statement that gunmen had opened fire towards the occupied West Bank settlement of Neve Tzuf, which is considered illegal under international law. It said soldiers at a guard post returned fire, hitting both the man and the child.
The army has opened an investigation into the shooting, saying it “regrets harm to noncombatants”.
Israel has been expanding its near-nightly military raids in the occupied territory under its most right-wing government yet.
Since the start of 2023, Israeli forces have killed at least 158 Palestinians, including 26 children, according to Wafa.
The death toll also includes 36 Palestinians killed by the Israeli army during a four-day assault on the besieged Gaza Strip from May 9 to 13.
More than 700,000 Israelis live in settlements in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, which Israel captured in the 1967 War.