Protesters from the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh released video footage on Saturday showing that the French woman wounded during the weekly protest on Friday was hit by an Israel Defense Forces gas grenade .
Palestinian sources reported on Friday that the French citizen was seriously wounded on Friday after being hit by a gas grenade. According to the reports, the grenade was fired at a demonstration by IDF forces. The French woman was taken to the hospital.
The IDF spokesperson published a statement on Friday, however, saying that the woman was wounded by rocks that were thrown by other protesters.
“A border police officer and a French citizen were lightly wounded by rocks that were thrown at them during a disturbance of the peace,” the statement said.
The Border Police also responded, saying that “according to the reports in our possession, the injury of the [French] citizen was the result of rock throwing carried out by the residents of the village during a violent disturbance of the peace against security forces. A border patrol medical team gave first aid to the injured woman and aided in her evacuation.”
The video,released on Saturday, shows a group of demonstrators shouting slogans at IDF soldiers, and then backing away from the soldiers as they approach the group. When they have their backs turned to the soldiers, a gas grenade is fired toward them, wounding the French activist in the neck.
The activist, who does not want to publicize her name out of fear that she will be deported by Israel, was taken to hospital in Ramallah with heavy bleeding. At the hospitals, it was established that the injury was not serious, and she is expected to be released soon.
Following the release of the video, the IDF spokesperson said on Saturday that “from new information that has surfaced it seems that the French citizen was injured by a gas grenade. The incident is under investigation.”
Last December, a Palestinian protester sustained head injuries after being hit by a tear gas grenade that was fired at close range by an Israeli soldier from inside a patrol jeep. The protester, Mustafa Tamimi, 28, died from his wounds the next day.
The weekly Nabi Saleh demonstrations take place to protest the expropriation of land for the nearby settlement of Halamish.
After the death of Tamim, figures in the army's Central Command said the soldier who shot at him claimed he "didn't see" Tamimi. However, the IDF's rules of engagement prohibit the firing of tear gas grenades from a rifle pointed directly at demonstrators or from a distance of less than 40 meters away. They also stipulate that the shooter must use the rifle sight and verify that no one is in the line of fire. Central Command and the Military Police are conducting separate investigations into the incident.
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