Palestinian toddler critically wounded in West Bank, Israeli military says shooting unintentional

AP , Friday 2 Jun 2023

A 3-year-old Palestinian boy was in critical condition at an Israeli hospital Friday morning after being shot by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank. The Israeli occupation army opened an investigation into what it said was an unintentional shooting.

Israeli security forces clash with Palestinian youths during a military raid in the city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank on March 1, 2023. AFP


In a statement, the occupation army said that gunmen opened fire late Thursday toward the West Bank settlement of Neve Tzuf. It said soldiers at a guard post returned fire.

Moments later, Israeli medics received reports that a Palestinian man and the child had been badly wounded. The man was rushed to a Palestinian hospital, while the baby, after being resuscitated by Israeli medics, was airlifted to Israel's Sheba Hospital. The hospital said the boy was in critical condition.

The military released a grainy video showing what it said were the gunmen firing toward the settlement and said that it was searching for them.

But it said the incident was being reviewed, saying “it regrets harm to noncombatants” and that it does “everything in its power to prevent such incidents.”

The shooting was the latest bloodshed in a more than yearlong surge of violence in the occupied territories of West Bank and east Jerusalem. That fighting has picked up since Israel's new far-right government took office in late December.

Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed in the two occupied areas this year, many of them are stone-throwing youths and people uninvolved in violence.

Meanwhile, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in those areas have killed at least 21 people.

Israel occupied both of the West Bank and east Jerusalem, along with the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.

Some 700,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and east Jerusalem. Most of the international community considers these settlements illegal or obstacles to peace.

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