Two Killed by Israeli Forces in Separate West Bank Incidents, Palestinian Health Ministry Says

A 16-year-old was shot dead in the Balata refugee camp during an Israeli raid, and another Palestinian was killed near Jerusalem

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The Balata refugee camp, in 2014.
The Balata refugee camp, in 2014.Credit: Tomer Appelbaum

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire on Tuesday during a raid in a West Bank refugee camp, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and another Palestinian was killed in a separate incident in the Jerusalem area.

Apart from the teen, at least three other Palestinians were wounded in clashes that followed the early morning raid in Balata, a sprawling refugee camp in the northern West Bank city of Nablus. One of them, according to medical officials, is in serious condition, and another suffered facial burns from a stun grenade.

Alaa Shaham (left) and Nader Haitham Rayan.

During the raid, some Balata residents threw rocks at the Israeli forces.

An Israeli Border Police statement about the incident said that during the arrest, two men arrived on a motorcycle, one of whom got off the vehicle and shot at undercover forces, who returned fire, hitting the assailant. 

Nader Haitham Rayan was shot in the head, chest, stomach and arms, the Health Ministry said. He was taken to the Rafidia Surgical Hospital in Nablus, where he was declared dead.

The Border Police said that the forces apprehended the target of the raid, and he was arrested with a machine gun in his possession.

There were no reports of Israeli casualties in the incident.

In a separate incident also on Tuesday, Alaa Shiham, a Palestinian man in his 20s, was shot dead in the Qalandiyah refugee camp by Israeli soldiers. According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, he was shot in the head.

Another six young men were taken to a Ramallah hospital in light to moderate condition.

Israeli police said that undercover Border Police entered the refugee camp in order to arrest two terror suspects. Violent riots broke out during one of the arrests, the statement said, in which people hurled heavy objects off of rooftops to endanger the forces, to which they responded with fire and crowd control measures.

Police said no Israeli forces were hurt during the operation.

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai addressed the shootings, as well as a third that took place the same morning in the southern Israeli city of Rahat, in a statement backing the forces. "Undercover Border Police forces work each night, under a veil of secrecy, and this morning Israeli citizens received a rare glimpse of their activities around the country and deep inside hostile and dangerous territory," it said.

"The troops were forced to return fire towards threats, and as a result three suspects were killed. One of them, it appears, was pointing a firearm at them, a second fired at them and a third hurled explosives during a very violent riot, and the details are still being clarified." 

Palestinian Authority spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh also related to the three shootings: "We warn of an escalation and explosion in the situation due to crimes of the occupation and the events this morning in Nablus, Qalandiyah and Rahat," he said, adding that the PA holds Israel responsible for the escalation, which has taken the lives of 20 Palestinians in the West Bank since the beginning of the year.

"The Israeli government is a refuser of peace and is playing with fire. The government must act to end unilateral steps on the ground against Palestinians and to respect extant agreements with the Palestinian Authority," he said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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