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Jewish settlers, Palestinians clash in West Bank

Palestinian surgeons operate on 24-year-old Helmi Abdul-Aziz in Nablus on Saturday after clashes in the West Bank.

Associated Press

Palestinian surgeons operate on 24-year-old Helmi Abdul-Aziz in Nablus on Saturday after clashes in the West Bank.

JERUSALEM — Clashes erupted Saturday in the West Bank, where Jewish settlers shot two Palestinian demonstrators in the northern village of Kusra, an Israeli military official and Palestinian residents said.

The clashes reflected mounting friction in the West Bank, where Palestinians have faced off against Israeli troops in recent weeks in a series of large demonstrations protesting Israel's control of the territory in general and in solidarity of four hunger-striking prisoners in Israeli jails.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian prisoner died in an Israeli jail.

In the West Bank skirmish, Helmi Abdul-Aziz, 24, was shot in the stomach by Jewish settlers, Palestinian demonstrators said. They said Jewish settlers also shot Mustafa Hilal, 14, in the foot.

An Israeli military official confirmed that two Palestinians were shot, but said the bullets appeared to have been fired by Jewish settlers because the Israeli forces were not using live ammunition. The official spoke on condition of anonymity, in line with military policy.

A Palestinian hospital official said Abdul-Aziz was in serious condition. The medic requested anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media.

The Israeli military official said about 200 Palestinians and 25 Jewish settlers took part in the clashes, and Israeli forces dispersed Palestinian protesters using "riot dispersal means."

Two Palestinian residents watching the clashes, Basem Nazal and Abdul-Azim Wadi, said Israeli forces fired tear gas, stun grenades and rubber bullets on demonstrators.

Jewish settlers, Palestinians clash in West Bank 02/23/13 [Last modified: Saturday, February 23, 2013 10:34pm]

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