DEIR QADDIS, Palestinian Territories — Israeli troops fired on stone-throwing Palestinians on Wednesday, wounding two, while two soldiers were also hurt in the West Bank clash, the army and Palestinians said.
The rare use of live fire on protesters in the West Bank occurred after clashes broke out in the village of Deir Qaddis, northwest of Ramallah, where Palestinians were protesting against settlers encroaching on village land.
The army said troops opened fire with live rounds after one of the soldiers was attacked.
“One soldier was wounded during an illegal violent riot in Deir Qaddis when stones shattered his leg. The rioters advanced on him continuing with massive stone throwing,” an army spokeswoman told AFP.
“Other soldiers felt his life to be in danger and opened fire, first in the air and, after they failed to heed warnings, they fired at the rioters.”
A second soldier was lightly wounded in the incident, the army said.
Deir Qaddis mayor Faris Nasser said the protest came in response to persistent encroachment on village land by Jewish settlers from the nearby settlement of Nili.
“For the last two weeks, settlers from Nili have been using bulldozers to take our land,” told AFP.
“Two were wounded by live fire while dozens more were hurt by tear gas,” he said.”
“One, a 24 year-old, was shot twice in the pelvis and in the shoulder, and the second, a 22 year-old, was shot in the back of his thigh and will require an operation,” the protest organisers said in a statement.
“In addition to the two hit by live ammo, six more were struck by rubber bullets,” they said.