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Israeli forces shoot, kill 19-year-old Palestinian during clashes in Ramallah area

Dec. 18, 2016 10:02 A.M. (Updated: Dec. 18, 2016 5:40 P.M.)
(Ahmad Hazem Ata al-Rimawi)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian in the Ramallah-area village of Beit Rima in the central occupied West Bank on Sunday around dawn, locals and Palestinian medical sources told Ma'an.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the victim as Ahmad Hazem Ata al-Rimawi.

Locals said al-Rimawi was shot in the chest with live fire  during clashes with Israeli forces, and was evacuated to Yasser Arafat Hospital in the northern Salfit district, where doctors announced his death upon arrival.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that early Sunday morning during a “violent riot, large crowds of rioters began throwing rocks at Israeli forces, injuring a border police officer.”

“Forces then engaged in riot dispersal means, and the riot was dispersed,” the spokesperson said.

We are aware of reports that a rioter was killed and another was injured, and we are looking into that,” the spokesperson added.

Local sources highlighted that al-Rimawi's father, Hazem Ata al-Rimawi, had been released from Israeli prison only three months ago, after completing a 15-year sentence.

Al-Rimawi was 244th Palestinians to be killed by Israelis during a wave of unrest that began in October last year, with at least 66 Palestinians shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes, police and army raids.

On Saturday, a funeral was held in the southern occupied West Bank Hebron-area village of Beit Ummar, after Israeli authorities returned the body of 15-year-old Khalid Bahr, whom they had shot and killed on Oct. 20 in the village, when Israeli authorities claimed a soldier shot Khalid for throwing rocks at Israeli forces.

An Israeli army spokesperson said at the time of Bahr's killing that soldiers were "attacked" by Palestinian youth throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers while they were patrolling the area near Beit Ummar.

The spokesperson said one soldier was "lightly wounded' by a rock and called one of the young Palestinian suspects to "halt," fired warning shots in the air, and then fired "towards the suspect, resulting in his death."

An internal Israeli army investigation later revealed that the lives of Israeli soldiers were not at risk when the 15-year-old boy was killed.

Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force against Palestinians, including minors, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.
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