Two Palestinians shot dead in West Bank

Israeli military says soldiers were guarding Joseph's Tomb where a 15-year old boy was killed

Relatives of 15-year-old Palestinian Mahdi Hashash mourn at Rafedya Hospital in the West Bank city of Nablus. EPA
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A 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in the West Bank during clashes with Israeli soldiers when right-wing politicians were visiting Joseph's Tomb near Nablus, the Palestinian health ministry said on Wednesday.

In a separate incident near Jenin in the occupied West Bank, a man described by locals as a labourer was shot by Israeli soldiers while trying to breach a fence between the West Bank and Israel.

He succumbed to his wounds after an attempt by the soldiers to treat him, the Israeli military said.

In Nablus, the Israeli army said it had shot a suspected militant in a clash. He was later identified as the 15-year-old boy, Mahdi Mohammad Hashash.

“Mahdi Mohammad Hashash died of serious wounds caused by shrapnel that hit different parts of his body during the occupation's incursion into Nablus,” the ministry said.

Al Aqsa Martyrs' Brigades, a group that has been linked to the Palestinian Authority's ruling party Fatah, claimed the minor was a member of their movement.

The Israeli military said troops were in the area to secure “the entrance of worshippers to Joseph's Tomb”.

A relative of Mahdi Hashash at Rafedya Hospital in the west bank city of Nablus. The Palestinian teenager was killed on Wednesday.   EPA

The Palestinian office of religious sites considers Joseph's Tomb to be an Islamic archaeological monument located inside Area A of the West Bank, which is under the Palestinian Authority's control.

A Jewish settler organisation told AFP that eight Israeli politicians — current legislators and others elected on November 1 who have yet to be sworn in — were visiting the site.

The group included members of Benjamin Netanyahu's right-wing Likud party and allies from the extreme right Religious Zionism bloc.

A surge in support for the far right in last week's general election sealed victory for Mr Netanyahu over centrist incumbent Yair Lapid, setting him up to form what may be the most right-wing government in Israel's history.

The Israeli army said “shots were heard” at the site and troops “shot towards a terrorist who placed a bomb in the area”.

“A hit was identified,” it added, without directly commenting on Hashash's death.

The Israeli army organises monthly escorted pilgrimages to the site but prohibits civilians from entering on their own.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said three people were also wounded in the incident.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. This year is on track to be the deadliest in the territory since 2015.

Since March, Nablus has once again been an epicentre for clashes between Palestinian militant groups and Israeli forces.

More than 100 Palestinians have been killed in clashes since the beginning of the year. Most of the casualties have been recorded when the Israeli army launched a crackdown in the West Bank following a series of attacks by Palestinian militants which have killed 21 people in Israel and Israeli settlements.

Updated: November 09, 2022, 6:30 PM