Israeli forces shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian bystander and seriously injured four other Palestinian teens early Tuesday morning west of Ramallah in the central occupied West Bank, after Palestinian youth nearby threw stones and Molotov cocktails at Israeli settlers, lightly injuring them, Reuters Reported
Israeli troops mistakenly killed a Palestinian bystander , An earlier statement from the military had identified the Palestinian as an assailant. The mayor of his village said he was a 15-year-old.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health confirmed the death of Mahmoud Raafat Badran, 15-year-old from the village of Beit Ur al-Tahta.
The military said several Palestinians threw petrol bombs and stones at vehicles, injuring three civilians, on a highway between Tel Aviv and Jerusalem that traverses the West Bank. Israeli media reports said two of those hurt were foreign tourists.
Troops gave chase and “after an initial inquiry, it appears that uninvolved bystanders were mistakenly hit during the pursuit,” a military spokeswoman said, identifying one of them as the Palestinian killed in the incident.
Local Palestinian sources said that five teenage Palestinians were travelling in a car between Beit Ur al-Tahta and the nearby village of Beit Sira west of Ramallah when Israeli forces “showered” the vehicle with live fire, killing one and injuring four.
Abdul Karim Kassem, head of the local council of the Palestinian village of Beit Ore-Tahta, told Reuters that Mahmoud Badran, the teenager killed in the incident on Highway 443, was in a car with other passengers “returning from a pool in a village near us when they came under fire”.
She said the military had opened an investigation.
Over the past eight months, Palestinian attacks have killed 32 Israelis and two visiting U.S. citizens. Israeli forces have shot dead at least 197 Palestinians, 134 of whom Israel has said were assailants. Others were killed in clashes and protests.
Another Palestinian was wounded by Israeli gunfire and taken to hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah. The military said two additional suspects were arrested.
The last deadly violent incident occurred on June 8 when two Palestinian gunmen shot dead four Israelis at a cafe in Tel Aviv.
Palestinian leaders say attackers have acted out of desperation over peace talks that have been frozen since 2014 and Israeli settlement building in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for a state.
Tensions over Jewish access to a volatile and contested Jerusalem holy site, revered by Muslims as Haram al-Sharif (Noble Sanctuary) and Jews as Temple Mount, have also fueled the violence.
Israel says incitement in the Palestinian media and personal problems at home have been important factors that have spurred assailants, often teenagers, to launch attacks.
An Israeli army spokesperson said that two Palestinian suspects were detained by Israeli forces in connection to the stone throwing and taken in for interrogation. Some Israeli news outlets reported that the Palestinian stone throwers also spilled oil on the road before they attacked the settler vehicles.
The Israeli army spokesperson added that three Israeli civilians were lightly injured in the incident. Israeli news site Ynet reported that two of those injured were foreigners, and two males had already been discharged from Shaarei Tzedek hospital while a woman remained for treatment of light injuries. More than 10 vehicles reportedly sustained damages.
Local Palestinian sources said that Mahmoud’s body is still being held by Israeli forces.
His father is a former prisoner, freed from Israeli custody in 1999 after serving a 15-year sentence, locals said.
Mahmoud is one of some 220 Palestinians to be killed by Israeli forces or settlers since October, many of whom were killed while carrying out individual attacks on Israeli military and settlers. Just under 30 Israelis have been killed during the unrest.