Palestinian Youth Shot in W. Bank

Published April 17, 2006

| Associated Press

Israeli soldiers holed up in a home in this West Bank city on Monday opened fire on stone-throwing protesters outside the building, wounding two people, including a 13-year-old boy, Palestinian officials and witnesses said.

The soldiers took over the top floor of the home during a military operation early Monday, and a crowd quickly gathered outside. The crowd threw rocks at the soldiers, who placed a door behind a window and responded with gunfire. Several crowd members also fired pistols toward troops during the exchange.

Associated Press photographers and cameramen witnessed the exchange.

Palestinian hospital officials said the youth was shot in the neck and in moderate condition. A second person was slightly wounded, they said.

"When he was wounded in the neck, he ran toward me before collapsing and the blood gushed from his neck," said Ana Maria Espinoza, a pro-Palestinian volunteer from Chile. She said more than 100 protesting youths were gathered behind a wall about 100 yards from the house, which is located in a residential neighborhood near a school.

An armored AP jeep also was hit by Israeli gunfire but the damage was minor.

It was unclear what the army was doing in the area, though troops frequently conduct arrest raids in Nablus, a stronghold of Palestinian militants.

The army said its forces had come under fire in the area, but had no further details.

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