16 Palestinians Shot, Injured in Clashes North of Ramallah

AL-BIREH, October 29, 2015 (WAFA) – A total of 16 Palestinians were shot and injured, including one with a banned bullet, in renewed clashes between Palestinian youths and Israeli forces at the northern entrance of Al-Bireh in the central West Bank.

Israeli forces cracked down on a demonstration organized by Fatah-affiliated students at Birzeit University against the backdrop of the latest extrajudicial killings of Palestinians by Israeli forces, mostly in Hebron.

Israeli forces fired rubber-coated rounds and Toto bullets as well as tear gas canisters against protestors.

WAFA correspondent reported that two demonstrators were injured in the head; one was hit by a live round and another by a tear gas canister in the head, while a third one was struck by a banned Toto bullet in his lower body.

Two of the injured youths were rushed into a Ramallah hospital for medical treatment.

Despite that Israeli forces have falsely presented the use of .22 caliber bullets, known as Toto ammunition, as non-lethal and appropriate for use to forcefully disburse demonstrations, the Israeli human rights organization B’Ttselem earlier this month called on Israel to cease using such kind of bullets for such a purpose.

According to a Haaretz report, the organization said that it had been documenting the use of Toto bullets against demonstrators for years and warned that the reality in the occupied Palestinian territories contradicts Israeli forces’ statements to the effect that the use of the ammunition is controlled and limited.

The organization also noted that restrictions on the use of the Ruger and Toto ammunition have been gradually lifted.

“Snipers use the bullets as a matter of course in many places throughout the West Bank, including in circumstances where lives are not in danger and which are very far from those in which live fire is permitted,” it said.

The organization concluded that the “the weapon is lethal and falsely presented by the authorities as a reasonable means of dealing with demonstrations.”