A Palestinian child shot and injured by an Israeli soldier on Friday remained in serious condition over the weekend as doctors revealed the extent of his injuries.
Abdul Rahman Yasser Shteiwi, ten, was shot in the head as Israeli occupation forces suppressed regular anti-settlement protests in Kafr Qaddum, a village in the West Bank.
Doctors who operated on the boy at Rafidia Hospital in Nablus have told International Solidarity Movement (ISM) that the bullet fired at Abdul was a live round.
“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 the hospital’s head of neurosurgery, Othman Othman.
“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.”
According to Othman, the bullet fired at Abdul was “not a normal bullet”, adding: “I have seen many gunshot wounds and they only break into a few pieces. Over 100 fragments are not normal.”
This injury is a severe traumatic brain injury. He is in critical condition and there is a lot of blood in his brain
Othman said. “We can’t yet say what is the real injury to the brain.”
The Israeli military has claimed that soldiers only fired rubber-coated metal bullets.
ISM activists, however, “found a 5.56 bullet case on the ground where protesters had been standing some 15 minutes before,” noting that “the case was hot to the touch suggesting it had been fired that afternoon. Dozens more bullet cases were also found by villagers following the protest.”
Murad Shtewi, one of the coordinators of the popular protests in the village, told +972 Magazine that “in eight years [of protests], the army has never responded in such a crazy way as it did today”.
“The army has used violence in the past, even fired live bullets before, but today, they fired directly [at protesters] in an attempt to suppress our demonstrations,” he added.
Shtewi believes the child was not even involved in the demonstration, and was shot as protesters were retreating.
Residents of Kafr Qaddum, located in the northern West Bank, have held weekly popular protests “against the Israeli army’s closure of their main access road” for the past eight years.
“The army closed the road to Palestinian traffic in 2003, citing security concerns to a nearby Israeli settlement partly built on the village’s land,” +972 Magazine noted.
Israeli occupation forces have suppressed protests using various tactics, including “attack dogs”, roadblocks “and other forms of collective punishment”, night-time arrest raids, the use of tear gas and putrid ‘skunk water’, threats, crowd-control weapons and even live ammunition.[source: Middle East Monitor]