Sunday, June 23, 2024

Israeli soldiers kill 17-year-old Palestinian in West Bank

Israeli soldiers have shot dead a 17-year-old Palestinian boy in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian officials have confirmed.

The teenager, identified by the Palestinian Health Ministry as Muhammad Fouad Atta al-Bayed, was shot in the head by Israeli forces during unrest in the village of Umm Safa, which neighbours Ramallah, on Friday.

The Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that the boy from Jalazone refugee camp, north of Ramallah, was taken to the Istishari Arab Hospital before dying of his wounds.

It added that Israeli forces had fired live ammunition, tear gas and stun grenades during confrontations with local residents.

The Israeli army said that a member of the paramilitary border police unit opened fire after masked suspects threw stones and rocks at Israeli forces, according to The Associated Press.

It confirmed that a person was hit by gunfire but gave no further details. It added that soldiers opened fire in response to stone-throwing and explosives, hitting one suspect who allegedly had thrown a bomb.

There were no immediate details from Palestinian officials.

The killing of al-Bayed came as part of a year-long period of violence, marked by repeated Israeli raids on the occupied West Bank, which has shown no signs of abating.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the occupied West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem.

Raids have only grown deadlier under Israel’s far-right government, which came into power at the start of the year, and includes leading figures from Israel’s settler movement, which seeks to expand illegal settlements in the occupied West Bank at the expense of Palestinians.

Earlier this month in Umm Safa, Palestinian health officials said 24-year-old Abdel-Jawad Hamdan Saleh was also fatally shot in the chest by Israeli forces during a demonstration.

Last month, several dozen settlers rampaged through the West Bank village, setting fire to vehicles and homes in days of consecutive vigilante attacks following the deadly shooting of four Israeli settlers at a petrol station between the Palestinian cities of Ramallah and Nablus.

The shooting came a day after six Palestinians were killed in the Jenin refugee camp during a large-scale Israeli military incursion.

The torching of homes and property in Umm Safa drew rare condemnation from the Israeli army’s international media spokesman, who condemned the settler rioting as “acts of terror”, The Times of Israel reported.

Opposition leader Yair Lapid said the violence “crosses all lines”.

“Torching homes and cars of innocents is inhumane and definitely not Jewish. Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu needs to condemn this disgrace and deal with it severely. This is a moral disgrace and security threat,” Lapid tweeted.

The United Nations human rights chief, Volker Turk, warned that “the violence, along with the inflammatory rhetoric, serve only to drive Israelis and Palestinians deeper into an abyss.”

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