Israeli army kills Palestinian teen in Bethlehem raid

Israeli forces shot a 15-year-old in the chest and rounded up 11 others during an overnight raid in occupied West Bank.

Palestinians pass by a section of the controversial Israeli barrier on their way to attend Friday prayer of the holy fasting month of Ramadan in Jerusalem''s Al-Aqsa mosque, in Bethlehem
Palestinians pass by a section of the controversial Israeli barrier in Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank on their way to attend Friday prayer [File: Mussa Qawasma/Reuters]

Israeli soldiers have shot dead a Palestinian teenager and rounded up at least 11 others during an overnight raid in the occupied West Bank

Arkan Thaer Mizhar, 15, was shot in the chest in Dheisheh refugee camp in Bethlehem, in the southern West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said on Monday.

His funeral is due to take place later on Monday.

A security source told WAFA news agency that Israeli forces stormed the camp and conducted house raids. The soldiers fired live ammunition as well as tear gas and stun grenades.

According to WAFA, two young Palestinian men were wounded and another two were arrested.

A medical source at Beit Jala Hospital confirmed that two young men were wounded by live ammunition in the foot, describing their condition as stable.

There are around 6,500 Palestinians in Israeli jails; 500 of whom are detained without charges under the administrative detention policy which allows Israel to detain a prisoner for up to six months, renewable indefinitely.

Six prisoners are currently on hunger strike, including Hasan Shokeh, in protest against the administrative detention.

The Israeli army said its forces had entered the camp and arrested two people suspected of “terror activity”.

“During the operation, a violent riot was instigated in which Palestinians hurled rocks and threw firebombs and grenades at [Israeli] soldiers,” the army said in a statement.

Soldiers fired live rounds at the protesters, the statement added.

The camp is in a part of the West Bank supposedly under full Palestinian control but the Israeli army regularly carries out raids in such areas.

It says the operations are necessary to arrest suspects, but they often spark protests among young Palestinians, many of whom are killed or injured during such raids.

While tensions have flared over recent weeks between Israel and Hamas in besieged Gaza, the West Bank has been relatively calm during that time.

According to Defence for Children International – Palestine, Israeli forces have so far killed at least 30 Palestinian children in 2018 in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, whereas in 2017, 15 children were killed.

Source: Al Jazeera, News Agencies