Palestinian teen shot dead in West Bank, apparently while breaching fence
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Palestinian teen shot dead in West Bank, apparently while breaching fence

Incident near Bethlehem comes hours after Jerusalem terror attack and amid heightened Ramadan tensions

Israeli security forces at the scene where a Palestinian stabbed and critically wounded 47-year-old Gavriel Lavi at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 31, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Israeli security forces at the scene where a Palestinian stabbed and critically wounded 47-year-old Gavriel Lavi at Damascus Gate in Jerusalem's Old City, on May 31, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces in the West Bank on Friday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

In a statement, the ministry said Abdullah Ghaith, 16, “died after he was shot by Israeli occupation soldiers close to Bethlehem and his heart and lungs were penetrated.” Another man, 21, was shot in the stomach at the same location and was being treated in hospital, the ministry said.

Israeli police said that the Palestinian teenager was shot while attempting to climb over the heavily guarded security barrier from Bethlehem into Jerusalem. The police added that they were launching a probe into the incident.

The boy’s father, Louai Ghaith, said his son had been trying to enter Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque on the last Friday of Ramadan. Ghaith’s body was brought to a Bethlehem hospital, where his distraught family identified the body.

“He was going to fulfill his religious duty, he was going to worship,” Ghaith said. “They killed him… with a bullet to his heart, like a game, and 16 years I’ve been raising him.”

Earlier on Friday, a Palestinian man was detained at the Qalandiya checkpoint near Jerusalem after security forces found a knife in his possession.

Israeli security forces in Jerusalem’s Old City following a knife attack early on May 31, 2019. (Thomas COEX / AFP)

The heightened violence came hours after a 19-year-old Palestinian terrorist injured two people, one of them seriously, in a stabbing attack in Jerusalem’s Old City. He was shot dead at the scene by police officers, a police spokesperson said.

Following the attack, police said they deployed additional troops around the Old City.

The Jewish man injured near the Damascus Gate sustained stab wounds to the neck and head, putting him in near-critical condition, medics said. He was taken to Jerusalem’s Shaare Zedek Medical Center for treatment. The hospital said he was unconscious and hooked up to a ventilator.

The second victim, a 16-year-old, was stabbed in his back inside the walls of the Old City. He ran from the scene toward the Old City’s Hurva Synagogue, where he received assistance. He sustained light-to-moderate wounds and was taken to Hadassah Hospital Ein Kerem, medics said.

Jerusalem’s Old City has seen a number of stabbing attacks in recent years, but has been relatively calm in the past six months.

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