Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager during West Bank raid

Fighting flares up as search continues for suspects in shooting of two Israelis in the town of Huwara

Israeli security forces block a road leading to the site of a reported attack, south of Hebron, in the occupied West Bank, on Monday. AFP
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Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager during fighting that broke out after a military raid in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.

“Othman Atef Abu Kharj, 17 years old, succumbed to injuries he sustained at dawn today during the clashes that erupted after the storming of the town Zababdeh, south of Jenin,” the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Militant group Al Quds Brigades issued a statement claiming that Abu Kharj was one of its fighters. He was shot in the head, the group says.

Tensions rise in occupied West Bank after Israeli woman killed in Hebron

Tensions rise in occupied West Bank after Israeli woman killed in Hebron

The raid came as Israeli security forces were searching for suspects in the fatal shooting of an Israeli father and son on Saturday in the town of Huwara, also in the north of the West Bank.

In the south of the West Bank, Israeli forces on Tuesday arrested two Palestinians suspected of shooting dead a settler on a road near the city of Hebron a day earlier.

The woman's husband was seriously wounded but their child, who was in the car with the couple, was unharmed.

The Israeli military said the suspects confessed during interrogation to involvement in the attack and that the rifle used in the attack was found. A car without licence plates, which was allegedly used to carry out the attack, was found burnt in the north of Hebron, according to the mayor of the town of Halhoul.

Palestinian media identified the two suspects arrested near Hebron as Saqer and Mohammed Al Shantir.

Education authorities in Hebron ordered schools to stay closed on Tuesday amid rising levels of violence.

“The directorate has decided to suspend school hours on Tuesday due to the prevailing security situation due to the occupation closing the entrances to the city and raiding several neighbourhoods there, and in order to preserve the safety of students and teachers,” authorities said on Monday evening.

A statement released by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's office following a cabinet security meeting on Tuesday indicated that a number of decisions have been made to "hit terrorists and their messengers", without elaborating further on these actions.

On Monday, the UN said that more than 200 Palestinians and almost 30 Israelis have been killed so far this year in Israel and the West Bank - in highest number of fatalities between the two sides since 2005.

Between July 25 and August 15, 16 Palestinians including five children were killed and nearly 200 others were wounded including 137 children, Special Co-ordinator for the Middle East Peace Process Tor Wennesland said at a UN Security Council briefing on Monday.

One member of Israel's security forces was killed during the same period, he added, and nine Israelis including a child were injured by Palestinians in shooting attacks, stone-throwing and other incidents."

Israel says most of the Palestinians killed were militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting against the incursions, as well as civilians and the elderly not involved in the confrontations, have also been killed.

Prospects of reviving US-brokered peace talks that aimed to establish a Palestinian state in the West Bank, Gaza and East Jerusalem, remain dim almost a decade after their collapse.

Israel captured the West Bank in a 1967 war and has since built dozens of settlements there that are considered illegal by most countries, a view Israel disputes, with its military in control of more than half the territory.

Updated: August 22, 2023, 3:30 PM