At least two Palestinian workers have lost their lives and five others sustained serious injuries after an Israeli settler ran them over in an apparent hit-and-run incident in the central part of the occupied West Bank.
Palestinian security sources said the workers were struck by a bus, which had been empty of passengers, near a military checkpoint at the northern entrance to the city of Bethlehem, located about 10 kilometers south of Jerusalem al-Quds, on Wednesday morning, Palestine's official Wafa news agency reported.
The sources added that two young men, identified as 29-year-old Ziad Ali Hussein Abiyat and Jaafar Omar Abayat, 30, were killed in the incident, while five people suffered serious injuries.
Israeli police officers reportedly located the bus, but the driver apparently fled on foot.
There have been scores of hit-and-run incidents targeting Palestinians in different parts of the West Bank, with most of them going uninvestigated by Israeli authorities.
Back on September 14, a Palestinian worker was seriously injured in a similar incident on a road near the town of Hawara, south of Nablus. The Israeli driver fled the scene.
The Palestinian was going to work when he was run over by the settler, who was driving at high speed.
More than 600,000 Israelis live in over 230 settlements built since the 1967 occupation of the Palestinian territories of the West Bank and East Jerusalem al-Quds. All the settlements are illegal under international law.
The UN Security Council has condemned Israel’s settlement activities in several resolutions.
Palestinian child detainee hospitalized after being beaten by Israeli soldiers
Separately, a Palestinian teenager was hospitalized on Tuesday after being beaten by Israeli forces in the southern West Bank.
The Palestinian Prisoners’ Society (PPS) reported that the boy, identified as Muhammad Munir Moqbel, 16, was assaulted while being detained by Israeli soldiers at al-Arroub refugee camp two days earlier.
His family said the teenager has been transferred to Hadassah Medical Center in Jerusalem al-Quds, and is scheduled to undergo surgery for a fractured jaw and broken teeth.
According to Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, a total of 170 Palestinian children are being incarcerated in Israeli prisons.
“Approximately 700 Palestinian children under the age of 18 from the occupied West Bank are prosecuted every year through Israeli military courts after being arrested, interrogated and detained by the Israeli army. The most common charge levied against children is throwing stones, a crime that is punishable under military law by up to 20 years in prison,” the Palestinian NGO said in a statement.
It added, “The majority of children report being subjected to ill-treatment and having forced confessions extracted from them during interrogations. Forms of ill-treatment used by the Israeli soldiers during a child’s arrest and interrogation usually include slapping, beating, kicking and violent pushing. Palestinian children are also routinely verbally abused. Despite recommendations by the UN Committee against Torture in May 2009 that the interrogations should be video recorded, no provisions to this effect have yet been enacted.”
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