Rights worker shot, wounded by Israeli forces: HRW

AFP , Monday 12 Oct 2015

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 occupied West Bank, the organisation said Sunday.

The woman was at the protest outside Ramallah in the early hours of October 6 when two rubber-coated steel bullets hit her flak jacket, 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 armless Palestinian youths throwing stones and firebombs at heavily-armed Israeli occupation security forces, who have responded with rubber bullets, tear gas, stun grenades and live fire.

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

*The story was edited by Ahram Online.

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