NGO worker shot, wounded by Israeli forces: HRW


An observer for Human Rights Watch was wounded by rubber bullets from Israeli security forces and possibly live fire at a recent demonstration in the West Bank, the organisation said Sunday.

The NGO worker shot at the protest outside Ramallah in the early hours of October 6 was hit by two rubber-coated steel bullets, the US-based group said, without revealing her identity.

One hit her back and another deflected off her upper torso and wounded her jaw. Her flak jacket was marked “press” and she was also photographing the demonstration, it said.

“A third bullet, apparently live, either grazed her hand or exploded nearby, sending shrapnel into her hand,” Human Rights Watch said in a statement.

“The forces opened fire without warning, the research assistant said, and she observed no use of or imminent threat of violence by the protesters at that time.”

According to the rights group, Palestinians were throwing stones and firing live bullets at Israeli soldiers some 90 minutes earlier, but the demonstration was peaceful when security forces opened fire.

At least seven protesters were also wounded, it said.

The rights activist, who also works as a freelance journalist, was treated at hospital and released.

Israel’s military did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Unrest has spread in annexed east Jerusalem and the occupied West Bank since the start of the month, with Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at Israeli security forces, who have responded with rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and live fire.

A wave of stabbing attacks by Palestinians targeting Jews has also spread fear among Israelis.

The unrest has raised fears of a full-scale Palestinian uprising, or intifada.

News source: AFP