Israeli forces killed a Palestinian teenager and wounded three other people during a military raid in the occupied West Bank yesterday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.
The killing of 17-year-old Yazan Ishtayeh brought to six the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces or armed settlers since Friday, as Palestinian authorities reported increased settler rampages across the West Bank.
A spokesperson for Israel’s Border Police said that undercover border police troops, together with the Israeli army, launched an operation in the city of Nablus to arrest a suspect.
During the activity, there was rioting in which one person threw an explosive device at the troops and was shot dead by the undercover unit, the spokesperson said. Over the weekend, hundreds of armed settlers raided Palestinian villages near the city of Ramallah, blocking roads, setting houses and cars ablaze and firing at civilians, medics and civilians said.
Israeli authorities said the escalation began after a 14-year-old Israeli went missing in the West Bank. His body was discovered on Saturday in what Israel said was a suspected fighters’ attack.
The US State Department condemned the killing of the Israeli boy and also said it was increasingly concerned by violence against Palestinians in the West Bank.
In one incident caught on video and published by Israeli rights group Yesh Din on Sunday, a group of masked settlers appeared to set fire to a car in a West Bank town under the watch of at least three Israeli soldiers.
In response to the video, the Israeli military said: “The behaviour of the soldiers in the video does not correspond to the values and orders of the army. The incident is being examined and the soldiers will be dealt with accordingly.”
Violence in the West Bank was already on the rise before Israel’s assault on Gaza, which was triggered by an October first week Hamas-led storming of southern Israel. It has escalated since, with stepped-up Israeli military raids, settler violence and Palestinian street attacks.
In addition to more than 33,000 Palestinians killed by Israel in Gaza, according to Hamas-run authorities, the Palestinian Health Ministry says at least 466 people in the West Bank have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers, among them armed fighters.
Palestinians have long aimed to establish an independent state in the territories Israel occupied in 1967, with East Jerusalem as its capital. Most countries view Israeli settlements on occupied land as illegal.
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