Israeli troops shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian activist as fighting erupted when soldiers entered a volatile town in the occupied West Bank on Saturday morning, the Palestinian health ministry and local media said.
The shooting, which Israel says took place in a firefight with local militants, came at a time of heightened Israeli military activity in the northern West Bank city of Jenin. month.
The ministry identified the deceased teenager as Amjad al-Fayyed. He said another Palestinian – an 18-year-old – was in critical condition after being injured by Israeli gunfire.
Later on Saturday, the Islamic Jihad militant group said al-Fayyed was a member of its armed wing.
Local media reported that clashes erupted outside the Jenin refugee camp as Israeli forces stormed the area.
In a statement, the army said soldiers opened fire after gunmen fired at them from a passing vehicle. He added that the suspects also threw explosives at the soldiers.
Israel has stepped up military activity in Jenin in recent weeks in response to a series of deadly attacks inside Israel. Several attackers came from the Jenin area, known as a stronghold of Palestinian militants.
On May 11, a veteran Palestinian journalist with the Al Jazeera satellite channel was killed while covering an Israeli military operation in the Jenin refugee camp. Shireen Abu Akleh’s family, the broadcaster, the Palestinian Authority and witnesses accused Israel of shooting the Qatari channel’s correspondent. Israel says there was a fierce gunfight at the time, and it is unclear whether she was killed by Israeli or Palestinian fire.
Israel called for a joint forensic investigation. The Palestinians refused, saying Israel cannot be trusted. They are conducting their own investigation and say they will share their findings with other countries, but not with Israel.
Israeli military officials said Thursday that the army had identified a soldier’s rifle that may have killed Abu Akleh, but said that can only be certain if the Palestinians hand over the bullet for analysis.