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Israelis kill Palestinian teen during protest in West Bank

Relatives of Qusay Hasna al-Umour, a 17-year-old Palestinian who was shot dead during clashes with Israeli forces in a protest in the village of Tuqu’, mourn over his body at a hospital in the occupied West Bank on January 16, 2017. (Photo by AFP)

Israeli forces have indiscriminately fired at a group of Palestinians protesting against Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank, killing a teenager and injuring several others.

Palestinian media reported on Monday that 17-year-old Qusay Hasna al-Umour was killed after Israelis fired live ammunition at protesters in the Bethlehem area village of Tuqu’ south of the West Bank.

Reports said Umour was shot in the chest at least three times before he was detained by Israeli forces. The Palestinian teen was in custody for an unspecified period of time and was later pronounced dead. It was unclear whether he was already dead when the Israelis nabbed him or he died in custody.

Witnesses said Israelis also fired rubber-coated steel bullets and tear gas at the Palestinians protesting in the area. Four others, including a woman, were injured during the clashes.

Umour is the fourth Palestinian to have been killed by the Israelis since the start of this year.

More than 270 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces since the escalation of tensions in early October 2015. The new wave of clashes erupted when Israel imposed restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

The Palestinians are protesting a covert plan by Israel to change the status quo of al-Aqsa Mosque, a highly-revered place for Muslims around the world.

 23 Palestinians arrested

Reports on Monday also said that Israelis had carried out overnight raids in the West bank and arrested at least 23 Palestinians, including a lawmaker affiliated with the Palestinian resistance movement, Hamas.

The Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) said 15 of those arrested, including Palestinian lawmaker Ahmad Mubarak, were in Ramallah, in central West Bank.

Israel arrests former hunger striker

Israelis also arrested Muhammad al-Qiq, a former hunger-striking prisoner and journalist, in Bethlehem on Sunday, after he attended a protest to demand the release of the bodies of slain Palestinians held by Israel.

Muhammad al-Qiq, a former hunger-striking prisoner and journalist

Al-Qiq began a hunger strike immediately after his arrest, his wife said.

Estimates released in 2016 show that more than 7,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails. Hundreds of the inmates have apparently been incarcerated under the practice of administrative detention, which is a policy under which Palestinian inmates are kept in Israeli detention facilities without trial or charge.

Some Palestinian prisoners have been held in administrative detention for up to eleven years.

The Palestinian inmates regularly stage hunger strikes in protest at the administrative detention policy and their harsh prison conditions.

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