Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager after Palestinians threw Molotov cocktails at cars near the West Bank village of Beit Ur al-Tahta early Tuesday. Other Palestinians were wounded, Palestinian security officials said.
The army said that troops shot at least two men, “after a number of Palestinians hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at moving vehicles near the village of Beit Sira on route 443.”
Three Israelis were injured when their car was pelted with stones on Route 443, a highway connecting Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that runs through the West Bank west of Jerusalem, the IDF said. Several vehicles were damaged.
“An initial review suggests that as the mob continued, nearby forces acted in order to protect the additional passing vehicles from immediate danger and fired toward the assailants,” a military statement said. “Forces confirmed hits resulting in the death of one of the attackers.”
An IDF spokesperson later retracted the statement, telling The Times of Israel that none of the Palestinians hit by gunfire were believed to have been involved in the rock-throwing incident.
Palestinian officials named the dead youth as as 15-year-old Mahmoud Badran. Palestinian media identified him as coming from the village of Kafr Qadum, east of Qalqilya.
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Since Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted last October, some 33 Israelis have been killed in stabbing, shooting, and car-ramming attacks by Palestinians. More than 200 Palestinians have also died during that time, most while carrying out attacks or attempted attacks on Israeli civilians and security forces, Israel says.
The past three months have seen a marked drop in the number of Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank. The last multi-casualty event took place earlier this month, when two Palestinian gunmen opened fire in a Tel Aviv cafe, killing four people.