Palestinian teen shot dead after alleged stabbing

Latest shooting by Israeli forces comes as US Secretary of State John Kerry meets Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

Israeli policemen stand guard at an entrance to Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem''s Old City
Among the causes of the turmoil are Palestinians' anger at what they see as Jewish encroachment on Al-Aqsa [Ronen Zvulun/Reuters]

A 16-year-old Palestinian has been shot dead by Israeli forces after allegedly trying to stab a private security guard at a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank, Israeli authorities said.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed that Mohammed Zakarna was killed on Saturday at the Jalameh checkpoint in northern Jenin. No other injuries were reported.

Witnesses speaking to Al Jazeera gave conflicting reports about the incident. 

One person confirmed the Israeli narrative, saying he saw Zakarna running towards the Israelis with a knife when they heavily shot him.

Another person, however, said the boy worked as a sweets peddle seller on the Palestinian side of the checkpoint when he was killed. 

A Red Crescent employee told Al Jazeera that the Israeli army prevented an ambulance from getting to the site. The employee added that Zakarna was taken to the Israeli part of the checkpoint until an Israeli ambulance took him away.

Since the beginning of the month, Israeli forces or settlers have killed 56 Palestinians, including unarmed demonstrators, bystanders and suspected attackers.

At least eight Israelis have been killed during incidents described by Israel as shooting or stabbing attacks carried out by Palestinians.

On Friday, at least 290 Palestinians were wounded by Israeli forces in the occupied Palestinian territory while marking a “Day of Rage”, the Palestinian Red Crescent said.

Kerry meeting Abbas

Against the backdrop of violence, US Secretary of State John Kerry flew to Jordan on Saturday for talks with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and Jordan’s King Abdullah II on the latest Israeli-Palestinian tension.

Speaking after Kerry’s meeting, Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat said that the two men “had a very in-depth and constructive meeting.

UpFront – Palestinian chief negotiator Saeb Erekat

“President Abbas demanded the US administration’s support for efforts to request protection for the Palestinian people at the United Nations,” Erekat, the PLO secretary-general, said. “We also requested sending an international investigation commission from the United Nations Human Rights Council to deal with summary executions against our people.” 

Rights groups have condemned Israel for excessive use of force and extrajudicial killings in their response to the unrest. 

Kerry’s visit to Jordan comes two days after a meeting with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Berlin, where the US top diplomat urged both the Palestinians and Israelis to halt “all incitement” and violence.

“It is absolutely critical to end all incitement, to end all violence and to find a road forward to build the possibility, which is not there today, for a larger process,” Kerry told reporters.

Among the causes of the turmoil are Palestinians’ anger at what they see as Jewish encroachment on the Al-Aqsa Mosque compound in Jerusalem’s Old City, Islam’s third holiest site, which is also revered by Jews as the location of two ancient temples.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies