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Palestinian teen killed by IDF, allegedly while throwing heavy object from roof

Incident near Nablus occurs amid a gun battle between troops and Palestinians; no soldiers injured

Illustrative image of the IDF 931 Nachal Brigade seen during search patrols in Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank, on the night of June 16, 2014. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Illustrative image of the IDF 931 Nachal Brigade seen during search patrols in Balata refugee camp near Nablus in the West Bank, on the night of June 16, 2014. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

A Palestinian teen was shot dead in the northern West Bank early Tuesday morning, after he apparently tried to drop a large object off a building on a soldier below, the military said.

The suspect, 15-year-old Imad Khaled Hashash, was shot while on the roof of a house in the Balata refugee camp, adjacent to the Palestinian city of Nablus.

He was rushed to the Rafidia Surgical Hospital in Nablus, where medical officials declared his death, Palestinian media reports said.

The Palestinian health ministry said Hashash died after sustaining a gunshot wound to the head.

The Israel Defense Forces said that during arrest operations in the refugee camp, shots were fired by Palestinians toward the troops, and the soldiers returned fire.

In addition, the IDF said, residents of the area threw bricks and other objects from the roofs of homes toward the forces.

“During the clashes, a number of troops identified a suspect on the roof of a building, holding a large object with both his hands, and tried to drop it on a soldier standing beneath the building,” the IDF said.

One of the soldiers opened fire toward Hashash, and confirmed he had been hit, according to the military.

There were no troops injured in the incident, the IDF said, adding that the arrest operation was successful and a suspect involved in “terror activities” was detained.

Last year, an Israeli soldier, Amit Ben-Ygal, was killed after a Palestinian dropped a large rock on him from the roof of a building near Jenin. A similar incident occurred in 2018, when a marble slab was thrown from the third floor of a building in a refugee camp near Ramallah, killing Ronen Lubarsky.

A view of the crowded Balata refugee camp in Nablus, September 23, 2009. (Nati Shohat/FLASH90)

Since May, more than 40 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops — soldiers and border guards — including in a number of cases with questionable circumstances, most notably the shooting of a 12-year-old boy in what the Israel Defense Forces described as an apparent case of misidentification.

Overnight Israeli arrest raids in West Bank towns are frequently met with fierce resistance from local Palestinians — mostly in the form of rock-throwing and Molotov cocktail attacks — though the use of live gunfire against troops is rare.

Earlier this month, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi told troops that the military would not tolerate reckless disregard for human life, amid an uptick in the number of Palestinians killed by soldiers in the West Bank.

Judah Ari Gross and AFP contributed to this report.

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