Israeli border police shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who they allege wielded a knife at them at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed the 17-year-old had been killed on Saturday, but did not elaborate on the circumstances of the death.

A photo of the Palestinian, named by local sources as Qutayba Ziad Zahran from the Tulkarm governorate, later circulated on social media

The Palestinian allegedly approached a group of Israeli paramilitary policemen stationed at the Zatara checkpoint on Saturday, holding what appeared to be a bag, an Israeli police spokeswoman said.

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The teenager "accosted" a soldier, and other troops then fired fatal shots at him, the spokeswoman claimed.

Israel's public radio said a guard was a hurt in "friendly fire".

A witness told the Bethlehem-based Maan News Agency that a large number of Israeli soldiers arrived at the scene and closed the checkpoint, denying passage to Palestinians in either direction.

Maan reported that a social media post believed to be a will by the teenager circulated online after his death, in which he claimed to be a "martyr".

Almost 300 Palestinians killed

More than 294 Palestinians or Palestinian citizens of Israel and 47 Israelis have been killed since October 2015, when a wave of unrest broke out.

Israeli authorities say most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks.

Others were shot dead in protests and clashes, while some were killed in Israeli air raids on the Gaza Strip.

The violence had greatly subsided in recent months, but tension around the highly sensitive al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem saw a spike in July.

Palestinians want to establish an independent state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, territories Israel captured in the 1967 Middle East war.

The last round of peace talks broke down in 2014.

Source: News agencies