A 15-year-old Palestinian boy has died of a gunshot wound in the occupied West Bank, hospital officials have said.

His father and two friends blamed Israeli troops guarding a nearby settlement for the shooting, which occurred on Saturday.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said a military police investigation had been opened but she did not have more details of events.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas blamed Israel for the "cold-blooded assassination", and said it was destructive to the peace process.

Wajih Wajdi Al-Ramahy was taken to a Ramallah hospital, where doctors said he died of a single gunshot wound.

His father, Wajdi, said Israeli soldiers had shot him without being provoked.

Wajdi, a resident of the Jalazoun refugee camp near Ramallah, said his son had just left a grocery store when he was shot from the nearby settlement, about 300 metres away.

"I will send the body of my son for autopsy to prove he was killed by Israeli army gunfire and I will sue them," he said.

Two of Ramahy's friends said they were with him when he was shot, and also blamed Israeli soldiers.

"Soldiers who appeared from an area at the fence fired at Wajih and killed him," one said. The two boys refused to give their names.

There was no unrest in the area when the shooting occurred, the father said.

Seventeen Palestinians and four Israelis have been killed since US-brokered talks began in July.

Palestinian officials say the sides remain far apart on the central issues of borders, security, Jerusalem's status and Palestinian refugees.

Source: Agencies