Israel army ‘mistakenly’ kills Palestinian teen

Soldiers shoot dead 15-year old Palestinian bystander after stone-hurling incident near West Bank village of Beit Sira.

Shooting Attack route 443, west of Ramallah
Highway 443 cuts through the West Bank for several kilometres on its way from Jerusalem to Tel Aviv [File - EPA]

Israeli troops have mistakenly killed a Palestinian boy while responding with gunfire to stones being thrown at Israeli vehicles in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli army said.

An earlier statement from the military had identified the boy as an assailant. The mayor of his village identified the victim as 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran.

Abdul Karim Kassem, head of the local council of the Palestinian village of Beit Ore-Tahta, told Reuters news agency that the teenager was in a car with other passengers “returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire”.

Another Palestinian was wounded by Israeli gunfire and taken to hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah. 

The military said several Palestinians threw petrol bombs and stones at vehicles, injuring three civilians, on Highway 443 between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that traverses the West Bank for several kilometres.

Israeli media reports said two of those hurt were foreign tourists.

‘Bystanders hit’

Troops gave chase and “after an initial inquiry, it appears that uninvolved bystanders were mistakenly hit during the pursuit,” a military spokeswoman said, identifying one of them as the Palestinian killed in the incident.

She said the military had opened an investigation.

Over the past eight months Israeli forces have shot dead at least 197 Palestinians, 134 of whom Israel has said were assailants. Others were killed in clashes and protests.

Palestinian attacks during the same period have killed 32 Israelis and two visiting US citizens.

The last deadly violent incident occurred on June 8 when two Palestinian gunmen shot dead four Israelis at a cafe in Tel Aviv.

Israel clamps down on Palestinians in wake of Tel Aviv attack

Palestinian leaders say attackers have acted out of desperation over peace talks frozen since 2014 and illegal Israeli settlement building in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for a state.

Tensions over access to the al-Aqsa compound, a volatile and contested Jerusalem holy site, revered by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (the Noble Sanctuary) and Jews as Temple Mount, have also caused the violence.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies