IDF Kills Teenager in West Bank, Fourth Palestinian Death in a Week

Palestinian sources say 16-year-old was shot in torso and legs; incident comes a day after a Palestinian farmer was reportedly killed in the Gaza Strip.

Jack Khoury
Reuters
Jack Khoury
Reuters

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israel Defense Forces fire on Tuesday near the village of Budrus in the West Bank, Palestinian sources said.

According to the reports, the youth, Samir Awad, was shot four times and hit in his torso and legs.

Awad is the fourth Palestinian killed by IDF fire in recent days.

The IDF confirmed opening fire at protesters, saying some had cut through a section of the barrier fence. Military spokesman Capt. Eytan Buchmansaid troops "initiated standard rules of engagement, which included live fire .An investigation into the shooting has been ordered, and Buchman said he could not comment further on the open-fire order.

Ayeed Mora, a member of the Budrus Popular Committee, told Haaretz that after the school day was over, Samir and his friends went out to the fields outside the village. Mora said that near the separation barrier that Israel built, IDF soldiers ambushed the youths and opened fire. There was no just cause to open fire, he asserts.

"In recent days we feel an escalation by the army, which shoots at everything that approaches the fence, even if they are children," Mora said. "Time and time again we hear of the claim that the young Palestinians provoked or hurled stones, but nothing justifies the shooting of live rounds at children." Mora added that the IDF "shouldn't speak of provocations, the fact they built the fence on our lands is provocation."

Clashes subsequently broke out at Awad's funeral as localyouths threw stones at Israeli soldiers, who responded by firingtear gas and rubber bullets.

In the nearby village of Deir Nidham, Palestinian medics said Israeli soldiers had shot a Palestinian boy, who was taken to be treated in an Israeli hospital. A local source named theboy as Yazan, and said he was 12 or 13.

An Israeli military spokeswoman said there was no report or information of a boy being shot and taken to an Israeli hospital.

"During a violent and illegal riot that took place in DeirNidham, several Palestinian rioters hurled rocks at security forces, who responded by using riot dispersal means," she said" .A Palestinian was lightly injured and received treatment on scene."

Also Tuesday, about 50 armed Palestinians shut the main road leading into the Balata refugee camp with burning tires to protest repeated attempts by Palestinian security forces to disarm them

The shooting incident comes a day after Palestinian sources reported that Israeli soldiers shot and killed a Palestinian man in the Gaza Strip. Israel denied involvement in the reported shooting of the man, who the Islamist Hamas-run Health Ministry said was a farmer, in the Gaza town of Beit Lahiya on the frontier with Israel.

Palestinian officials said a gunshot to the head had critically wounded 21-year-old Mustafa Abu Jarad. Doctors in the hospital at Shifa where he was treated said he had died of his injuries.

The Israel-Gaza frontier has been mostly calm since November when eight days of Palestinian rocket fire and Israeli air strikes killed 170 Palestinians and six Israelis.

Since then, four Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli troops along the Gaza border, most of them in an area Israel has deemed off-limits for several years, citing the risk of attacks on its soldiers.

Archive photo of a Palestinian demonstrator near the West Bank city of Ramallah.Credit: AP

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