BETHLEHEM (Ma’an) — A lawyer from the Palestinian Prisoner’s Society (PPS) visited two injured Palestinians who were shot and detained by Israeli forces on Wednesday during an Israeli army raid in the al-Duheisha refugee camp near Bethlehem city in the southern occupied West Bank.
Abd al-Aziz Arafeh and Raed al-Salhi have been receiving treatment at Jerusalem’s Hadassah hospital while remaining in the custody Israeli forces.
Al-Salhi’s condition was reported as critical on Thursday
after both Palestinians underwent surgery for their injuries. PPS lawyer Mamoun al-Hashim, who visited the hospital, said that on Saturday that al-Salhi’s condition remained serious, adding that he remained in the intensive care unit to treat his injuries after being shot in the stomach and thigh.
Arafeh’s condition was stable, al-Hashim reported, adding that he suffered from a bone fracture in the left leg after being shot by Israeli forces.
Arafeh told al-Hashim that has has been handcuffed since arriving to Hadassah hospital.
During al-Hashim’s visit with Arafeh, the injured Palestinian recounted his experiences the night of the Israeli raid.
Arafeh told al-Hashim that on Aug. 7, he left his home at 4:30 a.m. to head towards his workplace at the Doha municipality, located near al-Duheisha, when he was surprised to see Israeli soldiers in front of his house.
When Israeli forces saw Arafeh outside the house, they shot two bullets: one in the air, and another expanding “dum dum” bullet — the use of which is illegal under international law — which struck Arafeh in his left leg just under the kneecap.
After collapsing from the injury, Israeli soldiers carried him to the door of his house and put him down. When he asked to speak with the soldiers’ commanding officer, the soldiers refused and screamed at him, Arafeh recounted.
He was then transferred in an Israeli army jeep to an area near the al-Nashash gas station in the village of al-Khader, where Israeli forces put him on the ground and left him for 30 minutes before taking him to the hospital, according to Arafeh.
Al-Hashim pointed out that the detention orders for both Arafeh and al-Salhi were extended by Israel’s Ofer detention court last week, despite neither of them being present in the courts.
Israeli raids in Palestinian towns, villages, and refugee camps are a daily occurrence in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem.
Due to the typically aggressive nature of the raids, clashes often erupt between local Palestinian youth who throw stones and are met in response with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas, often resulting in serious, sometimes fatal, injuries.
Rights groups have routinely condemned Israeli authorities for their use of excessive force
against Palestinians, particularly in refugee camps, during incidents that did not warrant a violent response.