A 14-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed Wednesday by Israeli security forces near the West Bank town of Husan just south of Bethlehem, with the Israeli military saying he was shot after hurling a Molotov cocktail at troops at an army position in the center of town.
The Palestinian was identified as Qusai Fuad Hamamra, a resident of Husan. Hundreds of Palestinians protested in the town and threw stones at army vehicles on Wednesday evening.
Meanwhile, the Palestinian Health Ministry in Ramallah reported that 20-year-old Omar Muhammad Aliyan had been killed by a shot in the chest fired by security forces during clashes in the town of Silwad.
Earlier on Wednesday, security forces arrested four Palestinians north of Ramallah suspected of planning to carry out an attack in Israel on Passover, which starts this week.
The Shin Bet security agency said that along with the military and the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit, it had arrested a Hamas operative named Maad Hamed who had been part of a cell that committed the shooting attack that killed the Israeli Malachi Rosenfeld in 2015. Hamed had been held by Palestinian security forces since that attack, and the Shin Bet said that on Wednesday it received information that he had escaped and intended to attack Israeli targets.
During the arrests, clashes erupted between Israeli forces and residents of Silwad, and the Palestinian Health Ministry said six people were wounded by Israeli military fire.
In a separate incident, which took place after Hamamra's death was announced, an Israeli civilian entered Husan in his car and was attacked by Palestinians but left without being injured.
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Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesman for Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, said in a statement that the situation had become "very dangerous and sensitive.
"Israel's aggression and provocation, which are expressed in killing Palestinians, as we saw today in Nablus and in Husan, is a dangerous escalation, and the Israeli government bears responsibility for it," Rudeineh stated. "Things are deteriorating rapidly and this demands immediate international intervention in order to stop Israeli aggression and worse escalation."
The deputy chief of Hamas' political bureau, Saleh al-Arouri, subsequently issued a statement calling on Palestinians to escalate confrontations with Israel. "We call on members of the Palestinian people to block Israel's aggression throughout the West Bank, and on Palestinians in Ramallah and Al-Bireh to support their brothers in Silwad and all regions of the conflict and be a united front against the enemy," the statement read.
On Wednesday morning, a 34-year-old Palestinian activist and lawyer was killed in clashes with Israeli forces in Nablus, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, and at least 16 others were wounded.
On Sunday, Israeli military forces shot dead a Palestinian woman in her 40s after she approached them in a "suspicious manner."
Tensions between Palestinians and Israeli forces in the West Bank have been on the rise during the holy Muslim month of Ramadan and following a series of Israel Defense Forces raids in response to a recent wave of Palestinian terror attacks that has taken the lives of over 14 Israelis during the last three weeks.