Palestinian Teen Killed by Israeli Fire Near Illegal West Bank Outpost

Jack Khoury
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Structures in the unauthorized West Bank settler outpost of Evyatar, earlier this month.
Structures in the unauthorized West Bank settler outpost of Evyatar, earlier this month.Credit: Moti Milrod
Jack Khoury

A 16-year-old Palestinian succumbed to his wounds on Thursday morning after an Israeli soldier opened fire on him the previous night near the illegal West Bank outpost of Evyatar.

Amhad Shamsa was shot after he threw an explosive device at the soldiers. He was later taken to a hospital in Nablus with head injuries.

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The shooting came after "dozens of Palestinian" advanced toward IDF forces near the outpost and one of the Palestinians threw an explosive device, the Israeli army said. No casualties were reported on the Israeli side.  

Shamsa is the fourth person to be killed since protests against the Evyatar outpost broke out last month. The illegal outpost was built in early May near the Tapuah Junction.

Last week, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, Muhammad Said Hamail, was shot and killed by IDF soldiers. Last month, a 28-year-old relative of his was killed there as well. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah, another Palestinian was killed by IDF gunfire last month.

A 16-year-old Palestinian boy, Ahmad Shamsa, killed near Evyatar outpost in the West Bank, June 2021.Credit: Courtesy of the Shamsa family

Evyatar, built on the site of an army base on land owned by the Palestinian villages of Beita, Qabalan and Yatma, was established in response to the shooting attack at the junction at the beginning of May, in which a yeshiva student, Yehuda Guetta, was murdered.

The outpost is named after Evyatar Borovsky, a resident of the settlement of Yitzhar who was murdered in an attack in May 2013. Following his murder there were three attempts to build an outpost at the site – in 2013, 2016 and 2018 – but the mobile homes and other structures erected there were quickly evacuated.

According to Daniella Weiss, the general secretary of the Nahala settlement movement, the outpost currently covers several dozen dunams, but has the potential to expand to 600 dunams (about 150 acres). She said that 42 families are already living there, with another 75 hoping to join them.

Last week, Haaretz reported that Israeli soldiers have taken part in the construction of Evyatar, which Defense Minister Benny Gantz has ordered to be dismantled. 

The photos obtained by Haaretz, thought to have been taken about three weeks ago, show troops carrying prefabricated, temporary homes in Evyatar. The soldiers, who have been guarding the outpost regularly over the past weeks, were identified.

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