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IDF says troops fire at three Palestinians after firebomb thrown; teen said killed

Army says suspects threw Molotov cocktail at troops; witness claims 17-year-old was shot without cause; is third Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in 24 hours

File: Israeli soldiers stand guard near a hole in the security fence, as Palestinians try to cross into Israel, near Mevo Horon, April 10, 2022. (Flash90)
File: Israeli soldiers stand guard near a hole in the security fence, as Palestinians try to cross into Israel, near Mevo Horon, April 10, 2022. (Flash90)

Israeli troops shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian near the security barrier in the central West Bank on Thursday afternoon, the Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said.

In a statement, the Israeli army said “three Palestinians hurled a Molotov cocktail at Israel Defense Force soldiers.” The soldiers responded by shooting at them.

“A hit was identified. There were no injuries to our soldiers,” the Israeli military said in a statement.

The Israeli army did not immediately respond to a request for comment as to whether Sadaqa had been the one to throw the firebomb.

Palestinian media identified the dead teenager as Odeh Mohammad Sadaqa. Palestinian health officials said Sadaqa had been shot in the chest before being rushed to Ramallah in critical condition.

“Doctors sought to save his life, but he passed away,” the PA Health Ministry said in a statement.

Last November, the Israeli military changed the open-fire regulations so as to allow troops to shoot at suspects who hurl Molotov cocktails or rocks, even after the deadly object is no longer in their hands.

Before the change in policy, soldiers had been ordered to refrain from using deadly force once the suspects no longer possessed the threatening object — in other words, when they no longer posed an imminent threat.

A Palestinian witness disputed the army’s account, claiming that Israeli snipers fired at the group of Palestinians out of nowhere.

“[Sadaqa] hadn’t reached the area of the wall, or the dangerous area… He was standing by our house when a sniper shot at his heart,” the teenager told a cluster of Palestinian reporters.

Sadaqa is the third Palestinian killed in confrontations with the Israeli military over the past 24 hours. Two Palestinians were killed during West Bank clashes last night — one in Ya’abad, near Jenin, and the other in the Deheishe Refugee Camp near Bethlehem.

Clashes broke out in Ya’abad in the northern West Bank as troops demolished the home of terrorist Diaa Hamarsheh, who killed five people in Bnei Brak in March.

The military said in a statement that “hundreds of rioters threw stones, set fire to tires and threw Molotov cocktails and explosives at the forces.”

A fourth Palestinian, Ghafran Wasarneh, was killed by Israeli forces on Wednesday morning as she sought to commit a stabbing attack near the Al-Aroub refugee camp in the West Bank, according to the army.

In addition to the operation in Ya’abad overnight, there were clashes between Palestinians and Israeli troops in the Dheisheh refugee camp, near the West Bank city of Bethlehem.

Israeli troops blow up the house of Bnei Brak terrorist Diaa Hamarsheh in the West Bank village of Ya’bad, June 2, 2022. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

Soldiers entered the refugee camp to arrest a man suspected of throwing an explosive device at troops during an operation on Sunday, lightly injuring an undercover Border Police officer.

Clashes broke out during the arrest raid and one Palestinian was killed. He was identified as Ayman Muhaisen, 29.

“During the operation, suspects hurled explosives and threw stones at the forces, who responded with gunfire. Hits were identified,” the Israeli army said.

Tensions have seethed between Israel and the Palestinians in recent months. A deadly wave of terror attacks in Israeli cities has claimed the lives of 19 people since March 22. The military stepped up its West Bank activities in an attempt to crack down on the spiraling violence.

At least 30 Palestinians were killed over the same period, according to Palestinian health officials, some in firefights or violent clashes with troops. Others appear to have been uninvolved civilians.

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