Two teenage Palestinians shot by IDF fire near Nablus – both die

Not long after UNSG BAN Ki-Moon was escorted by Palestinian Prime Minister Salam Fayyad in security and relative luxury on a “brief” tour of the West Bank, to see settlements and The Wall, near Ramallah, two teenage Palestinians were shot by Israeli forces in the northern West Bank village of Iraq Burin, south of Nablus.

One boy, 16-year-old Muhammad Ibrahim Qaddous, was shot in the back/chest/stomach in Iraq Burin this afternoon, and pronounced dead upon his arrival, in a private car, at a hospital. According to Al-Jazeera, “Medical sources said that the Red Crescent ambulance sent to collect him was delayed by Israeli forces”.

The other, Ussayed Jamal Abd en-Nasser Qaddous, was shot in the head and was taken by a Palestinian Red Crescent ambulance to a hospital in Nablus, where he was taken into surgery.  There was one report that he, too, had died… but as of 20h45 pm, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee’s Jonathan Pollack said that the second young man is still in surgery, although in critical condition…

UPDATE: On Sunday morning, it was announced that the second victim, Ussayed, had succumbed to his wounds in a Nablus hospital.

According to Al-Jazeera, the two were cousins.

An email from the Stop the Wall Campaign stated that Mohammad was trying to carry his injured cousin (shot in the head) to safety when he himself was hit in the body, and killed.

Earlier, the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee presented a letter directly to the visiting UNSG, asking that the UN “directly support the right to protest and protects civilian demonstrators from attack and imprisonment”.

In the Stop the Wall email, Coordinator Jamal Juma (himself recently detained for over a month without charges), said that “of the 16 people killed by the Israeli military in connection with anti-Wall protests since 2002, half were under the age of 18”.  Juma added that “during a wave of killings in 2004/2005, eight were killed, then again between July 2008/ April 2009, six were killed … Israel will continue with its shoot-to-kill policy against our children and youth until the international community starts to hold it accountable for its crimes”.

Like Stop the Wall, the Ma’an News Agency is also reporting, here, that live fire was used. CNN’s Kevin Flower said via Twitter that “The #Israel military has yet to comment except to say ‘there was no live fire’…waiting for more info“…

UPDATE: Ma’an News Agency later reported an IDF spokesperson said: “…’live fire was not used. The Palestinians were hurt by rubber bullets used during the incident. It should be noted that gas canisters were used prior to rubber bullets. Israeli officials have recently held extensive negotiations with figures from the area in order to prevent such a clash. The IDF will not allow the existence of violent and illegal riots that put human lives at risk’.   The spokesman added: ‘the commander of the Shomron regional brigade, Itzik Yar, will investigate the event later today’.”  This Ma’an report is posted here.

There were clashes reported between IDF troops and Palestinian civilians earlier in the day, as demonstrators set out to reach their lands near the Israeli settlement of Har Bracha, but were stopped, and then returned to their village.  Palestinian reports say that settlers were also involved.  Afterward, several armoured Israeli Border Police vehicles entered the village, and some boys and young men threw stones. Then, the two cousins were shot…

According to a statement sent by email from the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee, they were shot around 3 pm…

Yesterday (Friday), one international peace activist, Ellen Stark, an American woman, was shot in the wrist, and her bones were shattered, requiring surgery. This happened even before a scheduled demonstration began in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh.

One Israeli peace activist, Didi Remez, arrived in Nabi Saleh during the demonstration — or the repression of the demonstration — and was shot in the legs with “crowd control” bullets. He reported being shot once. But his colleague, Eyal Nir, later reported on Facebook that “there were nothing unclear in the situation. just the soldiers and us clearly speaking hebrew to them. they shoot Didi around 6-7 times. 3-4 times the hit him. two in the legs” …

Photo of Didi Remez and Eyal Nir just before shooting - Israeli forces visible down the hill

Didi Remez after being wounded and Eyal Nir with Palestinian medics in Nabi Saleh on 19 March 2010

UPDATE: at 20h15 in Jerusalem time, Didi Remez updated on Facebook with this post: “Total of seven plastic bullet hits: two right leg; one testicles; four left leg, including two that broke skin and required stitches. Last week, at same spot, twelve-year-old villager was hit in head and remains brain damaged”.

we ask that the UN directly supports the right to protest and protects civilian demonstrators from attack and imprisonment.

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