AFP / Ramallah
Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenage fighter when clashes broke out during a raid yesterday in the flashpoint Jenin area of the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources and the army said.
“A 17-year-old boy was killed... by the Israeli occupation’s bullets during its aggression on Jenin,” the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement after the latest deadly violence. It added that an 18-year-old was critically wounded. The official Palestinian news agency Wafa identified the dead teenager as Amjad al-Fayed.
A hub of armed Palestinian groups, the Jenin area in the northern West Bank has been repeatedly raided by Israeli forces since a wave of anti-Israeli attacks in late March. Many of the perpetrators came from there.
The Israeli army said that during “operational activity” near Kafr Dan, a village northwest of Jenin, “a number of suspects shot live fire at... soldiers from a passing vehicle.
“The soldiers responded with live fire toward the suspects,” it added. “Hits were identified.”
The Palestinian Islamic Jihad claimed Fayed as a member and a “son”, praising him in a statement for confronting the Israeli soldiers with gunfire and explosive devices.
The Israeli forces “were exposed and confronted with valour by our battalion’s” fighters, Islamic Jihad said in a statement, “and thwarted their insidious scheme.” At Fayed’s funeral in the Jenin refugee camp, armed members of the group carried his coffin.
Palestinian prime minister Mohamed Shtayyeh condemned Fayed’s killing, stressing in remarks relayed by Wafa that “the international community should hold Israel accountable for its acts”.
The Jenin-area operations to track down suspects, and clashes with Palestinians, have often turned deadly for both sides. Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, a Palestinian-American, died when she was shot in the head near the Jenin refugee camp on May 11 while covering an Israeli raid.
In other overnight operations at a variety of locations throughout the West Bank, Israeli forces arrested nine Palestinian suspects and confiscated weapons, the army said in a statement yesterday. Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan during the 1967 Six-Day War and controls all entry points to the territory.
About 475,000 Israelis live in West Bank settlements, considered illegal under international law, alongside 2.9mn Palestinians.
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