Israeli troops kill teen in West Bank protests

Thirteen-year-old boy died in hospital, Palestinian Health Ministry says

A Palestinian teenager was killed on Friday by Israeli troops during West Bank protests, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, days after Israel approved plans for 3,000 new settler homes in the occupied territory despite international criticism.

Friday is often marked by protests in the West Bank against the expansion of Israeli settlements, which most of the international community regard as illegal.

The health ministry said Mohammed Daadas, 13, died in hospital after being shot in the stomach during clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli forces in the village of Deir Al Hatab, east of Nablus.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammed Shtayyeh said the death of Daadas was “organised state terrorism”, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

The Israeli army, contacted by AFP, said the incident was under review.

“A riot was instigated on a route adjacent to Elon Moreh community,” it said. Troops responded with “riot dispersal means and live fire” at people who “hurled rocks” at soldiers.

Five other Palestinians were injured Friday in clashes in Beita and Beit Dajan villages in the northern West Bank, Wafa said.

The Israeli military told AFP troops used “riot dispersal means” at two sites where “approximately 140 violent rioters hurled rocks” at troops.

The confrontations come days after Israel on October 27 announced it would advance plans for 3,000 more homes for Jewish settlers in the West Bank, despite international criticism.

The approvals came a day after the US criticised Israel for its policy of building settlements. President Joe Biden's administration said it “strongly” opposed new construction in the West Bank.

Israel has also advanced a project to build about 1,300 homes for Palestinians in the district.

About 475,000 Israeli settlers now live in fortified communities in the West Bank, which is home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.

Palestinians eye the West Bank, which Israel captured in the 1967 Arab-Israeli War, as part of a future state, while hardline Israelis, including Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, say it is a heartland of Jewish history.

Mr Bennett has ruled out formal peace talks with the Palestinian Authority, saying he prefers to focus on economic improvements.

On Friday, the European Union delegation to the Palestinians said it was “alarmed” about the condition of Palestinian prisoners Miqdad Al Qawasmeh and Kayed Fasfous, who have refused food for more than 100 days to protest their detention, Wafa said.

The pair, who the agency said have been in hospital for more than a month, are held in administrative detention.

Israel says the procedure, in which detainees are held without charge or trial for renewable six-month periods, is intended to allow authorities to hold suspects while continuing to gather evidence.

Palestinians and human rights advocates say the protocol violates due process and leads to abuse.

“Israeli authorities must respect international law and cease the extensive use of administrative detention without formal charges, as well as avoid loss of life,” the EU delegation wrote on Twitter.

According to Palestinian prisoners' right group Addameer, more than 4,000 Palestinians are held in Israeli jails, including some 500 in administrative detention.

Updated: November 06, 2021, 11:21 AM