Palestinian protester dies of rubber-bullet wounds


RAMALLAH, West Bank – A 22-year-old Palestinian college student died Thursday of wounds suffered when he was shot in the head with a rubber-coated bullet by Israeli soldiers two weeks ago.

Muhammad Asfour of the village of Aboud, 13 miles northwest of Ramallah, was taking part in a demonstration in his village when he was hit in the face by the bullet, which fractured his skull, news agencies reported.

He was first taken to Rafidia Hospital in the northern West Bank city of Nablus and later transferred to Ichilov Hospital in Tel Aviv, where he was pronounced dead Thursday morning.

Asfour was a senior studying physical education at Al Quds University in Abu Dis, just east of Jerusalem. He is the fifth Palestinian killed by Israeli soldiers in the West Bank since the start of the year, which has seen an upswing in demonstrations in sympathy with hunger-striking Palestinian inmates in Israeli prisons.

Israel maintains that it uses the rubber-coated bullets because they are designed to be nonlethal. The military had no comment on Asfour’s death, the Associated Press reported.



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