In clashes that erupted after Israeli forces killed six Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza in the last 24 hours, soldiers in Bethlehem fired tear gas, rubber- and plastic-coated steel bullets and eventually at least two rounds of live ammunition, according to eyewitnesses. Witnesses also reported that at least four youth were taken to the hospital after sustaining injuries from rubber- and plastic-coated steel bullets. No injuries from live bullets were reported, though the sniper could be clearly seen from the tower in the separation wall, and witnesses reported hearing at least two bullets, presumably fired from a silenced Ruger 10/22, striking near them. The same type of rifle has been used for crowd control on previous occasions in Bethlehem over the past year, resulting in serious injuries and death.
The clashes came after an Israeli airstrike killed three Palestinian militants in the Gaza Strip, and just hours after Palestinian security sources said a man died when Israeli soldiers fired at him in his car in the West Bank city of Tulkarem. The Israeli army also killed two Palestinians in the West Bank on Monday. Israeli soldiers shot and killed 18-year-old Saji Darwish near Ramallah late Monday, after he allegedly threw stones at Israeli vehicles. Earlier, Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian-Jordanian judge at the Allenby Bridge crossing with Jordan.