Israel: Palestinian shot after firing at soldiers
Published Thursday 12/09/2013 (updated) 16/09/2013 15:31
BETHLEHEM (Ma'an) -- Israel's army says it shot and injured a Palestinian man early Thursday after he opened fire at soldiers escorting rightists to a site in the occupied West Bank.
A military spokesman told Ma'an the Palestinian, who was not identified, was taken into custody after receiving initial medical care from an army doctor for moderate injuries.
The spokesman told Ma'an that the soldiers "fired back at the suspected shooter in self-defense" after he opened fire at soldiers amid a "large and violent riot."
The incident occurred as Israeli forces escorted hundreds of right-wing Israelis into the Balata refugee camp near Nablus so they could perform prayers at the Joseph's Tomb holy site.
Seven other Palestinians were hurt by tear-gas and rubber-coated steel bullets as Israeli forces fired at Palestinian homes. Among the injured were Thaer Qandil, Husam Qatanani, Murad Abu Musallam and Amid Abu Sayyaf.
Locals added that the invading Israeli forces detained four Palestinians. Troops used police dogs as they ransacked Palestinian homes in the camp. Three detainees were identified as Imad Abu Tayyoun and his sons Abdullah and Abboud. Two were released shortly after they were detained.
Israeli forces then detained Husam Qatanani after they injured him.
According to locals, the event started after hundreds of settlers were escorted by Israeli forces to Joseph’s Tomb where they performed Jewish rites until daybreak.
Israel's army described the escort as in line with its policy to protect freedom of religion.
"The IDF ensures freedom of religion and worship throughout the region," Lt.-Col. Peter Lerner said in a statement. "Last night's incident emphasized the challenges we have and the potential of jeopardizing basic religious beliefs."
He added: "The IDF will continue to facilitate the religious needs of the various populations in the region."