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Israeli settler shoots, injures Palestinian boy in occupied West Bank

Israeli settlers stay around a fire in the settlement outpost of Amona on December 15, 2016. (Photo by AFP)

An Israeli settler has shot and injured a Palestinian boy in the southern part of the West Bank amid ongoing tensions between protesters and Israeli troops in the occupied Palestinian territories.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health said the settler had opened fire on six-year-old Yousef Wael al-Awawedah in the al-Karmah district of al-Khalil (Hebron), located 30 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Saturday, Arabic-language Palestine al-Yawm news agency reported.

The ministry added that the child had been shot in the abdomen, and transferred to hospital to receive medical treatment. The Palestinian Ma'an news agency said that the boy was in serious condition. 

About 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 Israeli occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds.

Palestinians want the West Bank as part of a future independent Palestinian state, with East Jerusalem al-Quds as its capital.

Since the January inauguration of US President Donald Trump, the Tel Aviv regime has stepped up its construction of settler units on occupied Palestinian land in a blatant violation of international law.

The international community views the Israeli settlements as illegal since they are built on occupied land.  

The occupied Palestinian territories have witnessed new tensions ever since Israeli forces introduced restrictions on the entry of Palestinian worshipers into the al-Aqsa Mosque compound in East Jerusalem al-Quds in August 2015.

More than 300 Palestinians have lost their lives at the hands of Israeli forces in the tensions since the beginning of October 2015.

The Tel Aviv regime has tried to change the demographic makeup of Jerusalem al-Quds over the past decades by constructing settlements, destroying historical sites and expelling the local Palestinian population. Palestinians say the Israeli measures are aimed at paving the way for the Judaization of the city.

The al-Aqsa Mosque compound is a flashpoint Islamic site, which is also holy to Jews. The mosque is Islam’s third holiest site after Mecca and Medina in Saudi Arabia.

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