Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in West Bank raid

The latest violence will fuel further rounds of tit-for-tat payback.

The latest violence will fuel further rounds of tit-for-tat payback. Photo: getty

Israeli forces have killed a Palestinian teen during a military raid near the occupied West Bank city of Jericho, the Palestinian health ministry says.

The ministry said 15-year-old Mohammad Balhan sustained gunshot wounds to his head, chest and abdomen.

The Israeli military said its forces operated in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp, next to Jericho, on Monday to apprehend Palestinians suspected in involvement in attacks against Israelis.

The military said that during the raid suspects opened fire and hurled explosives at its forces, who responded with live fire and hit some of the suspects, but no soldiers were wounded.

Israeli-Palestinian violence has surged this year, with frequent military raids and violence by Israeli settlers in the occupied West Bank amid a spate of Palestinian attacks.

More than 90 Palestinians and at least 18 Israelis and foreigners have been killed since January.

Tensions have been especially high following Israeli police raids on the Al-Aqsa mosque compound last week, which triggered rocket attacks on Israel that were met with Israeli strikes in Gaza, south Lebanon and Syria.

A witness said he saw some people hurling rocks at the military after they raided the camp.

“I had just left my house when I saw military forces and people throwing stones,” said Fayez Balhan, the teen’s father.

After carrying another wounded person to an ambulance, the father noticed a young man lying on the ground, who turned out to be his son.

“They shot him in the head,” the teen’s aunt Maysoon told Reuters, crying. “What is going to happen to our people? What will happen to us?”

The Palestinian Prisoners Association said the Israeli military arrested at least two people during the raid.

“We urge the world to hold this (Israeli) government accountable for its crimes, which occur on a daily basis,” Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh said at the start of the weekly government session.

In a separate part of the West Bank, thousands of Israelis, including government ministers, marched towards the evacuated outpost of Evyatar in support of settlement expansion.

Palestinians want an independent state in the West Bank and Gaza with East Jerusalem as its capital – territories Israel captured in a 1967 war.

US-sponsored statehood talks have been stalled since 2014 while Jewish settlements have expanded, developments which Palestinians say have undermined the chances of a viable state being established.


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