Palestinian teen killed in clashes; IDF maps bombing suspect’s homes for demolition

Military says troops opened fire at suspects hurling Molotov cocktails in Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem; one soldier lightly hurt in clashes in Jenin

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Israeli troops operate in Kafr Aqab, to measure the home of Eslam Froukh, accused of a twin bombing attack in Jerusalem, early January 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)
Israeli troops operate in Kafr Aqab, to measure the home of Eslam Froukh, accused of a twin bombing attack in Jerusalem, early January 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli troops during clashes near the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Palestinian health officials said Tuesday morning.

According to the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry, 15-year-old Adam Essam Shaker Ayyad was shot in the chest during an Israeli military raid in the Dheisheh refugee camp.

Clashes had erupted in the camp as Israeli forces entered, which included Palestinian hurling explosives, Molotov cocktails and stones at troops, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The military said Border Police officers opened fire at a number of Palestinians who hurled Molotov cocktails at them amid the clashes, adding that “suspects were hit.”

At least one person was arrested in the camp, according to Palestinian media reports.

Ayyad’s body was seen wrapped in the flag of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine ahead of his funeral, indicating his possible affiliation with the terror group.

An ostensible will written by Ayyad before his death circulated on social media, in which he labeled himself a “martyr.”

Ayyad’s death marked the third Palestinian to have been killed by Israeli forces since the start of January, after two Palestinian gunmen were killed in a gun battle with the IDF in the northern West Bank early Monday.

Tensions have spiked in the region in recent months as Israeli forces have ratcheted up arrest raids and other counterterror efforts following a series of terror attacks that left 31 people dead in 2022.

In raids across the West Bank early Tuesday, the IDF said troops arrested 13 wanted Palestinians and seized several illegal firearms.

In the West Bank city of Jenin, Palestinian gunmen opened fire and hurled explosives at troops, the IDF said, adding that one soldier was lightly hurt by shrapnel during the clashes.

Israeli troops have repeatedly come under gunfire during nightly raids in the West Bank.

Separately early Tuesday, the IDF said troops measured two homes of a suspected terrorist ahead of their potential demolition.

The homes, in Kafr Aqab in East Jerusalem and in Ramallah, belonging to a suspected Islamic State-affiliated terrorist charged with committing a deadly bombing attack in Jerusalem in November.

Eslam Froukh, the alleged terrorist behind the November 2022 bombing attacks in Jerusalem, arrives for a court hearing at the Magistrate’s Court in Jerusalem, December 27, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Eslam Froukh, 26, an Israeli resident, allegedly set off bombs at two bus stops near entrances to the capital. The attacks killed two people — 16-year-old Aryeh Schupak and 50-year-old Tadese Tashume Ben Ma’ada — and wounded over 20.

The IDF said “the mapping was carried out for the purpose of examining the possibility of demolishing the houses, according to decisions that will be made.”

Clashes erupted in Ramallah during the operation, the IDF said, adding that troops responded with riot dispersal means.

An Israeli soldier measures the home of Eslam Froukh in Kafr Aqab, accused of a twin bombing attack in Jerusalem, early January 3, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians accused of carrying out deadly terror attacks, as a matter of policy. The efficacy of the measure has been hotly debated even within the Israeli security establishment, while human rights activists denounce the practice as unjust collective punishment.

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