Protester Killed by Israeli Military Fire in the West Bank, Palestinian Health Ministry Says

The Palestinian suffered a head wound during clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank village of Beita, as part of a weekly protest against the illegal outpost of Evyatar

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Israeli soldiers during clashes by the Evyatar outpost, last month.
Israeli soldiers during clashes by the Evyatar outpost, last month.Credit: JAAFAR ASHTIYEH - AFP

A Palestinian was killed by Israeli military fire during clashes near the village of Beita in the West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said Friday.

The man, identified as 31-year-old Jamil Abu Ayyash, suffered a head injury and was evacuated to Rafidia Hospital in Nablus, where he succumbed to his wounds. 

Jamil Abu Ayyash.

According to the Palestinian Red Crescent, 68 Palestinians were injured in the protest, four by rubber-tipped bullets, all sustaining light injuries.

The Israeli military denied using live fire against the protesters.  

Palestinians have been gathering weekly to demonstrate the illegal outpost of Evyatar, which is adjacent to Beita. Abu Ayyash is the eighth Palestinian killed so far by Israeli fire during the clashes.

Demonstrations began in May, when the Evyatar outpost first went up, prompting Israeli soldiers to establish a presence there, too. Though the outpost was evacuated in early July under a deal between settlers and Israeli authorities, most of the outpost's structures were allowed to remain there, triggering concerns by Palestinians that it may be allowed to be repopulated.

As part of the compromise, Israel will examine whether the land on which the illegal outpost was established belongs to Palestinians or whether it can be defined as state land. It was also determined that there would be a permanent military presence at the outpost.

According to the understanding between Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, Defense Minister Benny Gantz and the settlers of Evyatar, if the outpost is found to have been built on state lands, a settlement will be established there. Although the examination of the land's status is yet to be completed, it seems that at least some of it will be declared as state land.

The Israeli military issued a statement about Friday's protest, saying that "In recent hours, there has been a violent disturbance near the Evyatar outpost, in which hundreds of Palestinians threw stones and rolled burning tires at Israeli troops and Border Police forces. Soldiers acted on the spot and responded with demonstration dispersal methods."

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