RAMALLAH (AP) — IDF troops opened fire at Palestinian stone throwers Friday during West Bank arrest raids linked to a search for three missing Israeli teens, killing a 14-year-old Palestinian and seriously wounding three, Palestinian officials said. A second Palestinian, aged 22, was also killed Friday in Qalandiya, Channel 2 reported. In both cases, the TV report said, Israeli troops opened fire having come under attack with stones and petrol bombs, and believing their lives to be in danger.
Friday’s violence was a sign of the growing escalation in the West Bank as Israel’s search for the three Jewish seminary students entered its second week. Israel has alleged the three were abducted by the Islamist Hamas, but has offered no proof.
Over the past week, thousands of Israeli troops have searched hundreds of locations in the West Bank and arrested close to 300 Palestinians, many of them from Hamas.
The Israeli military said it conducted raids in four towns and refugee camps early Friday, detaining 25 suspects and searching about 200 locations. The army said nine institutions linked to Hamas were searched and materials were confiscated.
In one raid, in the town of Dura near Hebron, Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers, drawing army fire. A hospital official said 14-year-old Mohammed Dodeen was killed by a bullet in the chest.
The army also opened fire during a raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp, where three Palestinians were seriously wounded, said an official at a hospital in the nearby city of Ramallah. One of the three, aged 22, later died.
The army confirmed soldiers used life fire, saying troops were responding to life-threatening situations.
It said soldiers were engaged in sporadic confrontations during Friday’s raids. It said Palestinians threw home-made explosives, firebombs, fireworks and stones. In Qalandiya, a soldier was lightly hurt by a grenade thrown at troops, the army said.
Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.