16-year-old Palestinian Shot Dead by Israeli Army Overnight, Ramallah Says

The youth was fatally wounded by a gunshot to his head, according to the Palestinian Health Ministry. Clashes reportedly broke out as Israeli forces entered the Balata refugee camp to arrest wanted persons

Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury
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Israeli soldiers during a raid in the West Bank.
Israeli soldiers during a raid in the West Bank.Credit: IDF Spokesperson's Unit
Jack Khoury
Jack Khoury

A 16-year-old Palestinian was killed Thursday overnight by Israeli army fire in the Balata refugee camp near Nablus, the Palestinian Health Ministry reported.

According to the ministry, the youth killed is Amer Abu Zeitoun. He was wounded by a live gunshot to the head and died shortly after. Palestinian media reported that three other people were injured in clashes that broke out after the IDF entered the refugee camp to arrest wanted persons, but it was not immediately clear whether Zeitoun was involved.

Amer Abu Zeitoun

According to the residents, the soldiers surrounded the house of a released security prisoner named Hassan Araishi for about an hour, and left after arresting him.

Border Police Spokesperson said that Israeli forces detained two wanted individuals at the Balata refugee camp overnight. Armed militants opened fire heavily on the forces as they retreated. One militant was "neutralized" after firing at the forces from close range, according to the statement.

On the night between Monday and Tuesday, a 15-year-old Palestinian was killed by IDF fire in the Dheisheh refugee camp, near Bethlehem. The IDF Spokesperson said that Border Police forces at the scene fired in response to the throwing of Molotov cocktails, explosive devices and stones at them.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that the victim, Adam Ayad, died after being shot in the chest.

Data from the Israeli human rights organization B'Tselem show that in 2022, 144 Palestinians were killed in the West Bank by Israeli security forces fire – the highest number of fatalities in 18 years.

The army attributes the rise in fatalities to the increased access to weaponry and its use against IDF forces during raids, which have escalated since March 2021.

According to the IDF, last year there were 130 shooting incidents against soldiers when Israeli forces entered Palestinian communities, compared to only 25 in 2021.

At the same time, according to Haaretz's investigation based on real-time IDF reports, only in about 45 percent of the cases was there a specific claim that the deceased had been armed or that the fatal shooting happened during clashes in which there was an exchange of gunfire.

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