Israeli forces detained a wounded 19-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday morning after an Israeli settler got out of his car and shot the young man for allegedly throwing rocks at passing vehicles on Route 60 in the central occupied West Bank.
Locals told Ma’an News that Israeli settlers opened fire on 19-year-old Ibrahim Rasem Hamed and a group of other Palestinian activists who had closed off the section of the highway east of Ramallah to voice support for the ongoing mass hunger strike launched by more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners held by Israel, which entered its 31st day on Wednesday.
Activist youth have been blockading commuter thoroughfares across the West Bank in recent days for the same reason, demanding Palestinian leadership to support the prisoners and intervene to help achieve the aims of the hunger strike.
An Israeli police spokesperson could not be reached for comment, however, Israeli news site Ynet reported that as a group of 20 Palestinians were throwing rocks at passing vehicles, one driver got out of his car and chased them, “attempting to make a citizen’s arrest.”
“During the chase the driver shot one of the fleeing Palestinians, who was moderately wounded and evacuated to a hospital shortly after,” where he was reportedly in a stable condition, according to Ynet.
The report made no mention of any disciplinary action being taken against the Israeli settler who shot Hamed.
It also remained unclear where Hamed was being treated.
Palestinian activists and rights groups have accused Israel of fostering a “culture of impunity” for Israeli settlers and soldiers committing violent acts against Palestinians.
In March, Israeli NGO Yesh Din revealed that Israeli authorities served indictments in only 8.2 percent of cases of Israeli settlers committing anti-Palestinian crimes in the occupied West Bank in the past three years.
Between 500,000 and 600,000 Israelis live in Jewish-only settlements across occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank in violation of international law, with announcements of settlement expansion earlier this year sparking condemnation from the international community.
According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA), there were a total of 107 reported settler attacks against Palestinians and their properties in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem in 2016.