Palestinian teen killed by Israeli forces at protest: Officials

The Palestinian health ministry says the boy died after being hit by a bullet in his stomach, but Israel denies use of live fire.

The Palestinian teenager was at a weekly protest against illegal Israeli settlements at al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah [File: Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

A Palestinian teenager has been killed in clashes with the Israeli army on the sidelines of a protest in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Thirteen-year-old Ali Ayman Nasr Abou Aliya “succumbed to his wounds after he was shot with live rounds in the stomach” during clashes on Friday north of Ramallah, the ministry said in a statement.

He had been taken in critical condition for treatment at a hospital in Ramallah where he later died, the ministry said.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said soldiers had used what she described as “riot dispersal means” to confront dozens of Palestinians who were hurling rocks at soldiers and trying to roll rocks and burning tyres at Israeli vehicles.

“The reports of the use of live fire during the riot are not true and claims about a number of rioters injured and one killed are known,” the spokeswoman said.

‘War crime’

The Palestinian teenager was involved in a weekly protest against illegal Israeli settlements at al-Mughayyir village near Ramallah, said Marzouq Abu Naeem, a member of the village council.

The Palestinian foreign ministry said in a statement on the killing: “This ugly crime is a war crime and a crime against humanity.”

Four other people were wounded by Israeli army fire, the Palestinian news agency WAFA said.

The Palestinian village of Mughayyir is located near several Israeli settlements and has been the site of clashes between Palestinians and Israeli settlers in the past.

It is also near the Ras al-Teen area, where Israel has threatened to demolish a school, a move condemned in early November by the European Union, which co-funded its construction.

Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967.

More than 450,000 Israelis live in settlements in the territory, home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians

The stateless Palestinians hope to create their own independent country in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, and in besieged Gaza as part of a two-state solution, but the issue of Jewish illegal settlements on land captured by Israel in the 1967 war has long been a stumbling block in the now-stalemated peace process.

The Palestinians, who have limited self-rule in the West Bank, say Israel’s settlements there will deny them a viable state and like many countries see the settlements as an obstacle to peace and as illegal under international law.

Israel disputes this view, citing security needs as well as biblical and historical ties to the land.

The last round of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks broke down in 2014.

Source: News Agencies