JERUSALEM (Ma’an) — Israeli forces on Wednesday afternoon shot a 5-year-old Palestinian child in the face with a rubber-coated steel bullet in East Jerusalem as he was getting out of a school bus on his way home, relatives said.
“An Israeli soldier fired a black rubber-coated bullet at the child from a close distance, injuring him under the eye,” the uncle of 5-year-old Muhammad Jamal Ubeid told Ma’an.
The incident reportedly took place in the East Jerusalem village of al-Issawiya, where Muhammad’s family lives.
The child’s uncle said that Muhammad and his 14-year-old sister stepped out of a school bus and had started to walk home when the Israeli forces shot him.
The uncle said there were no confrontations at all in the area between Israeli forces and Palestinians at the time of the shooting.
An Israeli police spokesman did not return a request for comment.
Muhammad was evacuated to the nearby Hadassah Medical Center on Mount Scopus where medical authorities said he had a fracture in the bone below his eye.
The boy was later transferred to the Hadassah Medical Center in the Ein Karem neighborhood in West Jerusalem for treatment.
East Jerusalem neighborhoods like al-Issawiya have seen months of heavy police presence and widespread protests amid increasing anger over the Israeli occupation and perceived discrimination.
Palestinians in East Jerusalem have residency rights but not citizenship since Israel occupied the city in 1967, despite the fact that the vast majority are born and raised in the city and trace their heritage back generations.
Israel captured East Jerusalem from Jordan in 1967 and later annexed it in a move never recognized abroad. The international community sees East Jerusalem as Palestinian territory.