Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 22 September 2019

One hundred bullet fragments 'lodged in Palestinian child shot by Israeli soldiers'

A 10-year-old boy is fighting for his life after Israeli soldiers fired in the West Bank, say international observers

A protester in the West Bank waves a Palestinian flag. EPA
A protester in the West Bank waves a Palestinian flag. EPA

A Palestinian boy is in a critical condition with 100 bullet fragments in his head after reportedly being shot by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank.

Abdul Rahman Yasser Shteiwi, 10, was shot during unrest in the town of Kafr Qaddum, international observers said.

“He had a penetrating injury in the frontal lobe on the right side. The injury was severe and there are more than 100 fragments,” said Dr Othman Othman, Head of Neurosurgery at Rafidia hospital, Nablus.

“This is not a rubber bullet – this is a metal bullet. A rubber bullet will not enter because it does not have a sharp head. This is something that had a sharp head,” Dr Othman said.

International Solidarity Campaign, an activist group based in Hebron, said doctors operated on Abdul Rahman for three-and-a-half hours. He was rushed to emergency surgery at 3pm local time, they said.

Speaking to The National, a British international observer at the scene who wished to remain anonymous said Israeli soldiers were acting with “super-disproportionate” violence.

“We ran and at that point we saw people running down the hill. We didn’t see it happen, but seeing the blood on the floor was awful. You just see people looking upset… it was really horrible to experience. We all felt guilty,” she said.

“We’re there as international observers, so we should get it on camera to show what soldiers do”.

She held little hope for Abdul’s recovery after visiting the child in hospital on Saturday evening.

“There’s no good news so far. Doctors say he has internal bleeding, and all bullet fragments have gone throughout his head”.

ISM activists said they found a 5.56 bullet case on the ground where protesters had been standing that was “hot to touch, suggesting it had been fired that afternoon”.

Residents of Kafr Qaddum have held weekly protests for nine years against the closure of the main road to the city of Nablus because of the expansion of nearby settlements.

Israel’s “disproportionate” action against protesters had left activists dismayed at the portrayal of Palestinian resistance across the world.

“People beyond the region don’t realise the scale of violence,” the British activist said.

“They’re fed the same ‘Palestinian terrorists’ versus Israel Defence Forces defending themselves. It’s not always the case.”

Updated: July 15, 2019 08:41 AM

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