A Palestinian teenager was shot and injured by IDF troops early Friday morning near the Qalandiya checkpoint between Jerusalem and Ramallah, after the youth threw stones at a military vehicle. He later died of his wounds.
The Israel Defense Forces said troops driving a vehicle near the West Bank village of al-Ram, north of Jerusalem, came under a hail of stones and boulders, which shattered their windshield. The soldiers exited the vehicle and called to the stone-throwers to stop, firing a warning shot into the air. When the attack continued, according to the IDF, the troops opened fire, injuring one of the attackers.
According to Israeli media reports, the Palestinian teen, named as Muhammad al-Kasbeh, 17, was shot by the commander of the Binyamin Brigade, Col. Yisrael Shomer, who was traveling in the military jeep.
The IDF Spokesperson’s Unit told The Times of Israel it could not confirm that account.
“The troops were on a standard patrol when the suspect approached the vehicle, throwing stones and boulders at it and damaging it. The forces exited the vehicle, called for the suspect to stop and fired a warning shot into the air. The suspect did not stop and continued hurling rocks at close range. The forces, fearing for their lives, then shot at the suspect, who was injured and taken to the hospital in Ramallah,” the IDF said.
The incident was under investigation, according to the military.
Two of al-Kasbeh’s older brothers were killed in May 2002 during the Second Intifada, also near Qalandiya, the Ma’an news agency reported. According to Ma’an, al-Kasbeh was shot while trying to climb the security barrier and fell from a high altitude.
The IDF was gearing up for disturbances in the area and in Jerusalem following the death, Ynet reported.
IDF and Border Police troops were also deployed across East Jerusalem and especially in the Old City ahead of Friday prayers on the third Friday of Ramadan. Traffic disturbances were expected in the area.
Security forces were also preparing for possible disturbances surrounding the first anniversary of the murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir, 16, who was burned to death in an alleged Israeli revenge attack in the run-up to the Gaza war.
On Thursday, hundreds of Palestinians demonstrated in East Jerusalem to commemorate the killing.
Abu Khdeir was abducted and killed on July 2, 2014, weeks after the abduction and killing of three Israeli teenagers in the West Bank. The bodies of the three Israelis had only just been found following a massive search.