A Palestinian teenager who allegedly hurled Molotov cocktails was shot dead, and another was critically hurt by Israeli troops’ gunfire in the West Bank on Thursday evening, the military and Palestinian health officials said.
The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 15-year-old Mohammed Salim was shot in the back in the town of Azzun, near Qalqilya, and a second teen was seriously hurt after being shot in the chest. The ministry said the second teen’s condition was stable.
A third Palestinian was also hurt after being shot in the hand, the ministry added.
The Israel Defense Forces said troops were initially called to the scene after Palestinians allegedly launched fireworks at Israeli motorists traveling along the Route 55 highway.
Soldiers began searching for the suspects on the outskirts of Azzun when a number of suspects allegedly hurled Molotov cocktails at them.
The IDF said troops responded with live ammunition at the Palestinian suspects, adding that it was aware of a number of them being hit by the gunfire.
الفتي محمد سليم الذي ارتقى متأثراً بإصابته برصاص قوات الاحتلال في بلدة عزون شرق قلقيلية قبل قليل. pic.twitter.com/jp3uWlHhPy
— وكالة شهاب للأنباء (@ShehabAgency) March 2, 2023
The military added that no soldiers were hurt, but an army vehicle was damaged during the incident.
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinians have been high for the past year, with the IDF conducting near-nightly raids in the West Bank amid a series of deadly Palestinian terror attacks.
A string of Palestinian attacks in Jerusalem and the West Bank in recent months left 14 people dead and several more seriously hurt.
At least 64 Palestinians have been killed since the beginning of the year, most of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under circumstances that are being investigated.