Palestinian teenager killed by Israeli military as deadly year of raids continues

2022 has already become the deadliest year since 2015 with echoes of the early stages of the two intifadas

Israeli soldiers arrest a Palestinian man during clashes that broke out during a protest in the West Bank city of Hebron. EPA
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A Palestinian teenager has been killed by Israeli gunfire in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said as tension simmers after repeated clashes that have left dozens dead.

The 19 year old suffered a mortal wound in the neck while three others were shot in their limbs, the Palestinian ministry said on Friday morning.

The violence happened as Israeli forces raided Jenin refugee camp in an attempt to make arrests. The camp, in the northern West Bank, has been a flashpoint in recent fighting.

There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Parts of the occupied West Bank are outraged after repeated Israeli raids and a sharp rise in attacks by Palestinian gunmen.

The year 2022 is already the deadliest since 2015, with more than 120 Palestinians killed.

Earlier, Jewish settlers stormed a Palestinian town in the West Bank, throwing stones at Palestinian cars and using pepper spray on troops who were trying to disperse them, the Israeli military said on Thursday.

The settler rampage, which happened late on Wednesday, came days after a similar incident in the same area.

Also on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said a Palestinian boy, 16, had died after he was wounded in clashes with Israeli troops late last month.

Palestinians also launched a general strike throughout the West Bank and east Jerusalem in response to the death of a suspected Palestinian attacker.

The place where the attacker went on rampage is near Huwara, a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank near the city of Nablus, where a group of disaffected youths has taken up arms against Israel amid frustration with the Palestinian leadership’s close security ties to it.

Palestinian militants in the area have carried out several roadside shootings in recent weeks. The area is home to a number of hardline settlers who often intimidate Palestinians and vandalise their property.

Critics accuse Israel of turning a blind eye to settler violence against Palestinians while adopting a heavy-handed approach with Palestinian assailants or protesters.

In the past, settler violence has also led to confrontations with soldiers, which is often condemned by politicians but rarely leads to a solution to the problem.

Israel has been operating extensively across the occupied territories, especially in the northern West Bank, since a series of Palestinian attacks during spring killed 19 people in Israel, with recent violence accounting for more casualties.

The Israeli military said it was forced to act due to the refusal of Palestinian security forces to clamp down on armed factions.

In response, Palestinian security forces said Israeli actions undermined their credibility and public support, especially in the absence of any political process.

The last round of substantive Israeli-Palestinian peace talks ended in 2009.

Israel claims that most of those killed were militants. However, local youths protesting against the incursions and some civilians have also lost their lives in the violence.

Hundreds have been rounded up, with many placed in “administrative detention”, which allows Israel to hold them without trial or charge.

The violence has also been stoked by deepening disillusionment on the part of Palestinian youths angered by the tight security co-ordination between Israel and the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, as they work together to apprehend militants.

Experts and community leaders have already issued a warning that the violence this year bears similarities to the early stages of the Palestinian uprisings, or intifada, in the 1980s and early 2000s.

Israel captured the West Bank during the 1967 Middle East war and 500,000 Jewish settlers now live in about 130 settlements and other outposts alongside about three million Palestinians.

The Palestinians want that territory, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, to make up their future state.

Updated: October 21, 2022, 6:07 AM
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