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UN agency urges investigation into Israeli killing of Palestinian teenager

August 22, 2016 at 4:44 pm

The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees (UNRWA) has said it is “gravely concerned” about last week’s killing of a 19-year-old Palestinian refugee by Israeli occupation forces.

Israeli forces raided al-Fawwar refugee camp near Hebron in the southern West Bank on August 16, in a day-long operation that left one civilian dead, and 52 other camp residents injured.

According to an UNRWA statement released Monday, the “large Israeli military incursion” into the camp saw a “high number” of civilians injured by “live ammunition”, with soldiers raiding “more than 200 refugee households.”

In confrontations with unarmed Palestinian youth, Israeli forces used “lethal, live ammunition, plastic-coated metal bullets (PCMBs), and large amounts of tear gas.”

The 19-year-old fatality, Mohammad Abu Hashhash, was “shot in the chest by live ammunition rounds reportedly fired by an Israeli sniper stationed approximately 100 meters away”, said UNRWA.

According to UNRWA, “Israeli forces prevented an ambulance from taking an injured person seeking medical help for over an hour before allowing it to pass through to its destination.”

In addition, “refugees were prevented from entering or leaving the camp and a curfew was enforced to keep people trapped in their homes – a reminder of the recent closures in Hebron that created humanitarian access challenges for the 9,500 residents of Fawwar camp.”

UNRWA reiterated that “Israeli authorities, as the occupying power, have a responsibility first to protect the civilian population in the West Bank, including the Palestine refugees residing there.”