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Palestinian teen said killed in clashes with IDF amid rising West Bank tensions

Army says investigating Palestinian claim, says troops returned fire at suspects who hurled Molotov cocktails at them while they were carrying out operation near Beita in West Bank

Said Odeh, the Palestinian teenager shot dead in clashes with IDF troops in the northern West Bank on May 5, 2021. (Courtesy)
Said Odeh, the Palestinian teenager shot dead in clashes with IDF troops in the northern West Bank on May 5, 2021. (Courtesy)

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed in clashes with the IDF on Wednesday night, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The IDF said that its troops returned fire after suspects hurled Molotov cocktails at them while they were carrying out an operation near the northern West Bank village of Beita. The army did not specify whether any Palestinians had been hit by the soldiers’ gunfire but said that no Israeli troops were wounded in the incident.

Palestinian media identified the victim as Said Odeh from the village of Udala. The Palestinian health ministry said that another teen was moderately injured in the clashes and that he was being treated at a Nablus hospital for a gunshot wound to the back.

The IDF said that it would open an investigation into the incident.

Tensions in the West Bank remained high on Wednesday against the backdrop of a Palestinian terror attack at the Tapuah Junction four days earlier that left one Israeli teen dead and two others wounded. The incident was followed by several apparent retaliatory attacks by Israeli settlers, including the storming of a Palestinian village in the predawn hours of Monday morning, where they threw rocks and stun grenades and started fires.

Clashes broke out between the residents of Jaloud village and the Israelis from the nearby Shiloh settlement, whereupon IDF soldiers and Border Police attempted to break up the fighting by firing rubber-coated bullets and other riot dispersal weapons at the Palestinians, injuring four of them. Eleven Palestinian residents of the village were arrested by the IDF. No settlers were arrested. Several police vehicles’ tires were punctured by the Israelis.

The IDF has bolstered its forces in the West Bank for the month of Ramadan, a period that regularly sees an uptick in violence. Likely contributing to tensions was the Palestinian Authority announcement last week that it was indefinitely delaying elections planned for May 22, blaming the decision on ostensible Israeli refusal to allow PA voting in East Jerusalem.

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