Palestinian Seriously Wounded by IDF Gas Grenade in West Bank

Man, 19, participated in a protest that marked the second anniversary of the death of five Palestinians near IDF checkpoint; group threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who then fired tear gas at the youths.

A Palestinian man was seriously wounded on Monday as a result of a tear gas grenade fired by Israel Defense Forces soldiers near a West Bank checkpoint north of Ramallah.

According to the Palestinian news agency Ma'an, the 19-year-old Palestinian was brought to the hospital with critical head wounds and was rushed to surgery.

Qalandia Women's Protest - AP - September 2011

The man was reportedly part of a group of Palestinian youths that clashed with IDF soldiers near Atara checkpoint early Monday morning. The youths threw stones at the soldiers stationed at the checkpoint, who responded with the firing of tear gas canisters.

Palestinian officials say that the group arrived at the IDF checkpoint to mark the second anniversary of the death of five members of the Awwad family, who were killed in an accident when their car crashed into an IDF vehicle.

IDF officials said that 15 Palestinians had gathered near an IDF checkpoint and threw rocks at the soldiers. The soldiers, the IDF said, responded by firing tear gas in order to scatter the protest. The IDF Spokesperson said the circumstances of the incident are under investigation.

Last week, a Palestinian was killed during a demonstration near Qalandia military checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, according to Palestinian sources.

The sources said Talat Ramieh, 25, was killed when hit by a live bullet fired by Israel Defense Forces soldiers at dozens of stone-throwing Palestinians.

An initial IDF investigation into the incident shows that 20 Palestinians gathered next to the Ramah camp southeast of Ramallah in the West Bank, and threw stones at IDF forces. One of the Palestinians threw fireworks directly at the soldiers. The soldiers, sensing danger, opened fire at the Palestinians as per military orders. The IDF explained that the youth was hit in the shoulder, and was taken to the hospital in Ramallah.

The IDF also said that use of fireworks as weapons during riots has become more commonplace in recent months.