Israeli troops shoot Palestinian teen in night of tensions and clashes

It came as Israeli Yehuda Guetta, 19, shot at the weekend, dies of his wounds

Israeli troops shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian boy during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, Palestinian officials said, and an Israeli teen wounded by an alleged Palestinian gunman earlier this week died of his injuries.

It comes on the back of weeks of tensions in Jerusalem and the West Bank that have seen near-nightly clashes between protesters and police.

The Israeli military said troops fired towards Palestinians hurling Molotov cocktails at them late on Wednesday near the Palestinian village of Beita, south of Nablus.

"The troops operated to stop the suspects by firing towards them," an Israeli military spokeswoman said, adding that the incident would be investigated.

Residents of Beita and the nearby village of Odala say there have been clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops near the villages' entrances the past several nights.

Palestinian Health Ministry identified the teen as Saeed Yusuf Muhammad Oudeh.

A second Palestinian was shot in the back during the clashes on Wednesday and was being treated in hospital, the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement announcing the 16-year-old's death.

The clashes have been taking place as the Israeli military has been conducting searches in the area for an alleged Palestinian gunman who opened fire on Sunday at a West Bank intersection, seriously wounding two Israelis and lightly injuring another.

One of the Israelis, 19-year-old Yehuda Guetta, died of his injuries on Wednesday night, Israeli Defence Minister Benny Gantz said on Twitter.

The Israeli Security Agency, also known as Shin Bet, said it had arrested a Palestinian suspect over the shooting, identifying him as a 44-year-old resident of the Palestinian village of Turmus Ayya.

The Shin Bet said the man was not affiliated with any militant groups.

Tensions have been high in the West Bank and Jerusalem during Ramadan, peaking with several days of clashes near Jerusalem's Old City between Israeli police and Palestinians over access to a popular night-time meeting spot.

In recent days, Palestinians have also scuffled with police during protests against the threatened eviction of dozens of Palestinians in the Sheikh Jarrah neighbourhood in East Jerusalem.

Several Palestinian families in Sheikh Jarrah have been embroiled in a long-running legal battle with Israeli settler groups trying to acquire property in the neighbourhood.

Late on Wednesday, the Palestinian Red Crescent medical service said several people were injured in clashes in Sheikh Jarrah, including three people shot by rubber bullets.

Israeli police reported five arrests, including a protester wearing a medic’s uniform who it said had thrown rocks at security forces.

Israel captured east Jerusalem, along with the West Bank and Gaza, territories the Palestinians want for their future state, in the 1967 Mideast war. Israel annexed East Jerusalem in a move not recognised internationally and views the entire city as its capital.

The Palestinians view east Jerusalem – which includes holy sites for Jews, Christians and Muslims – as their capital, and its fate is one of the most sensitive issues in the Mideast conflict.

In the Gaza Strip, the shadowy leader of the armed wing of the Islamic militant group Hamas this week issued his first public statement in nearly seven years, warning Israel it will pay a “heavy price” if it evicts Palestinians from their homes in east Jerusalem.

Updated: May 6, 2021 03:38 PM


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