A 10-year-old Palestinian child is struggling to live after an Israeli sniper shot him Friday in Kafr Qaddem, a village in West Bank.
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Abdul Rahman Yasser Shteiwi was shot in the head during an anti-settlement protest in his village. He was shot by a live bullet according to doctors who operated on him.
“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.”
He also said that “over 100 fragments is not normal” as he had seen “many gunshot wounds and they only break into a few pieces.”
It was a routine weekly protest that has taken place every Friday for the past eight years against illegal Jewish settlements and closure of the southern road. As always, after the afternoon prayers, the residents gathered for their march from the town's center to the Israeli settlement of Kedumim.
“Our protests are always non-violent. We are armed only with signs and flags. At most, sometimes the young men throw stones in response to the soldiers, but that’s it. Nevermore than that,” Murad Shteiwi a resistance leader of the village and the relative of the injured boy told Mondoweiss.
“But this Friday, they were using live ammunition, and they weren’t just firing it in the air. They were firing it at the people.”
Amid this, the young boy suddenly fell to the ground. “He wasn’t even at the front of the clashes, there were tons of other young men in front of him. But they aimed at the child on purpose and shot him,” Shteiwi recounted saying that there were snipers present who were targetting people.
“The doctors told us that by the way he was shot, and the kind of bullet he was shot with, it is clear that the soldiers’ intention was to kill. Abdul Rahman was not supposed to live,” the resistance committee head said.
The Israeli military said the soldiers only fired rubber-coated metal bullets but the activists from the International Solidarity Movement (ISM) informed of a 5.56 bullet case found on the ground where protesters were standing.
The case was too hot to touch which suggests the use of live ammunition and dozens of more bullet cases were found in the village.
Shteiwi said the entire village is mourning. Shops are closed and many canceled weddings.