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Palestinian man fatally shot during protests, rally organizers say

By Kevin Flower, CNN
December 10, 2011 -- Updated 1222 GMT (2022 HKT)
An Active Stills photo shows a tear gas canister being fired by Israeli troops toward Palestinian protester Mustafa Tamimi, left.
An Active Stills photo shows a tear gas canister being fired by Israeli troops toward Palestinian protester Mustafa Tamimi, left.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Mustafa Tamimi was among dozens of protesters who gathered in West Bank
  • They were protesting against the encroachment of a nearby Israeli settlement.
  • The protest turned violent when clashes erupted between Israeli forces and the protesters

Jerusalem (CNN) -- A Palestinian man shot in the face with a tear gas canister during a West Bank demonstration died Saturday morning, according to protest organizers.

Mustafa Tamimi, 28, was among dozens of protesters who gathered in the West Bank village of Nabi Saleh on Friday for a weekly protest against the encroachment of a nearby Israeli settlement.

The protest turned violent when minor clashes erupted between Israeli military personnel and the protesters.

During the fighting, an Israeli soldier shot him from a close range with a tear gas projectile in the face, according to protest organizer Jonathan Pollak.

Tamimi was critically wounded and brought to an Israeli hospital for emergency treatment.

A photo of the incident appears to show a projectile fired in his direction from the back of an Israeli military vehicle.

Pollak, who serves as the spokesman for the Popular Struggle Coordination Committee that organizes the weekly protest, accused the Israeli military of acting "in complete disregard" of its own open fire regulations.

In a statement to the media, Pollak, claimed that "soldiers often shoot tear-gas projectiles directly at groups of protesters or individuals."

The Israeli military said Saturday it was investigating the incident and referred reporters to its statement Friday.

In the statement, the military described the gathering in Nabih Saleh as a "violent and illegal riot" where protesters hurled rocks at Israeli security personnel who in turn responded with "riot dispersal means."

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