Israeli Troops Shoot Italian Activist Patrick Corsi, Palestinian Teen, with Live Rounds during West Bank Protest
Israeli troops firing live ammunition shot an Italian solidarity activist and a Palestinian teenager during a mostly peaceful protest in the illegally-occupied West Bank in Palestine on Friday.
The Associated Press reports 30-year-old Patrick Corsi, a member of the International Solidarity Movement (ISM), was marching in support of Palestinians in the village of Kufr Qaddum, near Nablus, when he was shot in the chest and seriously wounded.
Village resident Khaldon Ishtawi told the AP Israeli soldiers opened fire without provocation on about 400 protesters from a distance of around 130 feet (40 meters) and shot Corsi in the chest.
+972 Magazine reports Corsi was wearing a reflective vest identifying himself as a peace activist when he was shot, a claim substantiated by media reports and photos of the Italian taken just before he was wounded.
An unnamed 18-year-old Palestinian protester was also shot in the chest, Palestine’s Maan News Agency reports.
Palestinian Minister of Health Jawad Awwad told Maan News Agency that Corsi is in “critical” condition.
“The bullet entered Patrick’s chest near a main blood vessel, but thankfully did not puncture it,” ISM media coordinator Ally Cohen told reporters.
Awwad accused Israel of attempting to murder the activists, who were protesting Israel’s illegal 47-year occupation of the West Bank.
“Shooting live fire at the upper part of the bodies of protesters is directly targeting them and is a deliberate attempt at murder,” he told Maan. “Israel does not differentiate between foreign solidarity activists, Palestinians, or even journalists.”
Israeli military officials confirmed they had fired on demonstrators with .22 caliber bullets after other less-lethal crowd control methods, including tear gas, had failed. The Israelis accused protesters of burning tires and throwing rocks.
Protests are held every Friday in Kufr Qaddum against Israel’s closure of a main road connecting the main road to Nablus, as well as against Israel’s ongoing illegal occupation of Palestine.
Corsi isn’t the first ISM member to be harmed by Israeli forces. On March 16, 2003, Rachel Corrie, an American wearing a bright orange reflective vest, was crushed to death by a US-supplied Israel Defense Forces (IDF) bulldozer while attempting to thwart what she believed was the imminent demolition of a Palestinian home in Gaza.
A month after Corrie’s death, 21-year-old British student Tom Hurndall, who was also wearing a bright orange jacket to identify himself as a peace activist, was shot in the head by an IDF sniper as he attempted to rescue Palestinian children from an Israeli tank that was firing in their direction. The shooting left Hurndall in a coma; he died nine months later in a London hospital. A British jury found that Hurndall was “intentionally killed.”
Numerous other ISM members have been injured, some of them seriously, by Israeli forces. Two ISM activists, Palestinian Akram Ibrahim Abu Sba’ and Italian Vittorio Arrigoni, have also been killed by Islamist militants.