Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Army Near Bethlehem, Health Ministry Says

The 19-year-old, Amar Shafiq Abu Afifa, was a resident of the al-Aroub refugee camp

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Israeli soldiers patrol in the West Bank village of Burqa in December
Israeli soldiers patrol in the West Bank village of Burqa in DecemberCredit: Majdi Mohammed /AP

A 19-year-old Palestinian student was killed by Israeli army gunfire near a West Bank town just south of Bethlehem, the Palestinian Health Ministry said on Tuesday.

According to an Israeli security official, Amar Shafiq Abu Afifa, a resident of the al-Aroub refugee camp, and another Palestinian were near a viewpoint, between Beit Fajjar and the Migdal Oz settlement, where several Israelis were sitting.

Amar Shafiq Abu Afifa

The two fled as soon as the soldiers approached in order to identify them. The soldiers warned them to stop, fired a warning shot in the air and then shot at the men directly, wounding Abu Afifa, who was later pronounced dead.

The Israel Defense Forces spokesperson said in a statement that the forces initiated an “arrest procedure, which included shooting at the suspects,” and that the incident is being investigated.

While Israel's Army Radio claimed that Abu Afifa was throwing rocks at soldiers and ignored soldiers' warning shots, no stones or any other potential weapons were discovered at the scene.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said the killing represented “a continuation of Israel's criminal policy against the Palestinians, an execution that points to the cruelty of the occupation and the deliberate harm to the Palestinians,” also calling for an International Court of Justice investigation.

Last week, IDF forces also shot a 14-year-old Palestinian boy dead near Bethlehem.

The Israeli military said in a statement that the teen, Mohammed Shehadeh, was throwing a Molotov cocktail before being shot by soldiers in the West Bank town of al-Khader.

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