Israel forces kill Palestinian teen at occupied West Bank protest

Mohammed Hamayel, 15, was killed during a weekly protest in the occupied West Bank village of Beita against illegal Jewish settlement.

Israeli soldiers stand guard
Israeli soldiers stand guard as Palestinian demonstrators gather during a protest against Israeli settlements in Beita town near Nablus in the Israeli-occupied West Bank [File: Mohamad Torokman/Reuters]

A Palestinian teenager has been killed by Israeli fire during confrontations between protesters and Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian authorities said.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said on Friday that “Mohammad Said Hamayel, 15, died in confrontations” with Israeli forces near Beita, south of Nablus, where dozens of Palestinians demonstrated against the expansion of a nearby illegal Jewish settlement at the expense of their land.

The Ministry of Health of Palestine said six others had been wounded by gunfire.

The official Palestinian news agency, Wafa, reported that Israeli troops fired live rounds, tear gas and rubber-coated steel pellets at the demonstrators. There was no immediate comment from the Israeli military.

Hamayel is the eighth Palestinian child to be killed by Israeli forces this year and the third in Beita, which has witnessed protests in recent months after Israeli settlers built an outpost on the village’s Mount Sabih.

The livelihoods of at least 17 Palestinian families – more than 100 people – are threatened as they depend on harvesting their olives on land they have owned for generations.

In another protest in the village of Kufr Qaddoum, an eight-month-old baby suffered tear gas inhalation after Israeli forces targeted the family home of Loay Samir. Another 10-year-old child was wounded in the leg with a rubber-coated steel bullet.

Murad Shteiwi, the media coordinator for Kufr Qaddoum, said the Israeli army stormed the village under a heavy cover of live bullets, adding that that they raided the homes of the Palestinian residents, climbed their roofs and used them as military barracks for their snipers.

Villages in the West Bank often hold Friday demonstrations against land confiscation, house demolitions and Israeli settlements deemed illegal under international law. Israeli forces usually respond to the protests with disproportionate violence.

Some 475,000 Israeli settlers live in the occupied West Bank, home to more than 2.8 million Palestinians.

On Thursday, Israeli troops shot and killed three Palestinians, including two security officers, in a shoot-out that erupted in the town of Jenin during what appeared to be an Israeli arrest raid overnight.

Source: Al Jazeera and news agencies