Fifth Palestinian, Muhammad Kanaan, 25, Dies of Wounds

Muhammad Kanaan, 25,  from the town of Hizma in the central occupied West Bank district of Jerusalem died of his wounds Thursday night, July 27, three days after he was shot in the head by Israeli forces during clashes in his hometown. In a statement issued by Palestinian Ministry of Health, officials said that  Kanaan had been hospitalized in critical condition in the Palestine Medical Complex in Ramallah since his wounding by the occupation forces last Monday.

Israeli police stationed in the al-Aksa Mosque compound on Thursday, July 27

Israeli police stationed in the al-Aksa Mosque compound on Thursday, July 27 (Photo: Activestills)

According to the Palestinian news agency Ma’an, Kanaan is the fifth Palestinian to have died of wounds inflicted by Israeli forces during the past two weeks. On July 14, clashes erupted across the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem in response to increased security measures initiated by Israel at the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and the violent repression of the ensuing civil disobedience campaign by Palestinians.

On Thursday, just an hour after thousands of Palestinians entered the al-Aqsa Mosque in occupied East Jerusalem for the first time in nearly two weeks, clashes erupted inside the holy site, with Israeli forces firing tear gas and rubber-coated steel bullets at worshipers. Israeli police arrested more than 100 Palestinians.

The Palestinian Red Crescent released a statement saying that its crews had provided at least 94 worshipers with medical care following Thursday’s clashes in the al-Aqsa Compound (Temple Mound). According to the organization, worshipers were treated for injuries caused by rubber-coated steel bullets, tear gas inhalation, physical assault or being pepper-sprayed by Israeli forces.

According to the Israeli NGO B’Tselem: “During these recent events, Israel has repeatedly demonstrated sweeping disregard for the lives and security of Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem, and for their right to maintain a normal routine. The Israel Police treated Palestinian residents as if they were enemy soldiers, rather than as a civilian population for whose well-being and security, it is responsible. This conduct is part of the way Israel controls East Jerusalem: Israeli authorities view the Palestinian residents as an undesirable presence, people who are worth less, with all this implies, including the use of lethal force. Nothing but comprehensive and substantive change to this regime of control, and to the reality in Jerusalem, will ensure the human rights of all the people living in the city.”

In the two weeks since the clashes began, Israeli forces have killed five Palestinian demonstrators and injured more than 1,200 others.

Related: B’Tselem press release — Playing with Fire in Jerusalem