Palestinian Seriously Wounded in Clashes With Israeli Forces Near Outpost

Palestinians in Burqa were protesting against an event organized by settlers in Homesh, as tensions remain high after the death of a yeshiva student in a shooting attack. At least nine Palestinians were wounded by live fire

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Palestinian protesters during clashes with Israeli forces in Burqa, on Saturday.
Palestinian protesters during clashes with Israeli forces in Burqa, on Saturday.Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH / AFP

A Palestinian man was seriously wounded by Israeli army fire in the West Bank village of Burqa, as protests continue against settlement activity in the nearby Homesh outpost, more than a week after the death of a young settler in a shooting attack reignited tensions in the area.

Nine other Palestinian protesters were also wounded by live fire, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and 48 others lightly wounded by rubber-tipped bullets fired by Israeli forces.

In a separate incident, the Israeli military reported a drive-by shooting at an army post near Nablus, with no casualties. The military said soldiers found dozens of shell casings in the area, but no suspects were identified.

Palestinians in Burqa were protesting a planned event by settlers at Homesh, which is located between several Palestinian villages. It was evacuated in 2005, but settlers vow to return to it.

On Friday, the Israeli army cleared several structures that were erected in Homesh, after having allowed thousands of right wing activists to march to the outpost and demonstrate against the planned evacuation of the illegal yeshiva building there.

The Palestinian protester in serious condition was hit by a gunshot to the stomach, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. He was evacuated to an-Najah hospital in Nablus for surgery. At least two others were hit in the legs, and were evacuated to the Rafidia hospital in Nablus.

At least 185 people suffered from tear gas inhalation, including a pregnant woman who was going into labor during the clashes, the Palestinian Red Crescent reported.

The Israeli military said Palestinians in Burqa were burning tires and hurling stones at soldiers, adding that forces responded with riot control measures. An Israeli soldier was lightly wounded by a stone thrown at him.

According to Palestinian reports, shots were fired at the Israeli forces from Burqa but caused no casualties.

The planned event at Homesh was not approved by the Israeli military, which issued an order restricting non-residents' access to the illegal outpost. Some arrived there by foot, to avoid being stopped at a military checkpoint.

Palestinian media reported clashes between protesters and the military near Bazariya, a neighboring village.

Tensions have been boiling over in Homesh and nearby villages after Palestinian gunmen shot and killed settler and Homesh yeshiva student Yehuda Dimentman last week.

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