Palestinians: 13-year-old dies by Israeli fire in West Bank

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — A 13-year-old Palestinian boy was shot and killed by Israeli fire during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Friday, Palestinian health officials said.

The teen, identified as Mohammad Daadas, died as a result of a gunshot wound to the stomach during clashes with Israeli forces near the northern West Bank village of Deir al-Hatab, said the health officials’ statement. Daadas was taken to a nearby hospital, where medical staff pronounced him dead.

The Palestinian Red Crescent medical service said the Israeli army fired live ammunition, as well as tear gas and rubber bullets, at protesters while also closing off surrounding roads, preventing their ambulances from entering the site. No other serious injuries were reported.

In a statement issued later Friday, the army said dozens of Palestinians near Deir al-Hatab began hurling rocks at Israeli troops who responded with live fire.

According to Wafa, the Palestinian news agency, Daadas was from the Askar refugee camp on the outskirts of the northern city of Nablus.

Clashes between Israeli forces and Palestinians are common across the West Bank on Fridays. Over the past six months, there have been weekly clashes in the nearby town of Beita, where Palestinians hold demonstrations against the establishment of an unauthorized Israeli settlement outpost that they say was built on their land. At least five protesters have been killed in the violence.

Under a deal in June between the Israeli government and the settlers of Eviatar, the settlers left the outpost but the settlement’s buildings remain intact and under army guard. The Palestinians have rejected the deal, saying it is a step by Israel towards taking their land.

Last week, the Israeli authorities approved 3,000 new settler homes in the West Bank, while also agreeing on Thursday to build 1,300 housing units for Palestinians who live in areas of the West Bank that are under full Israeli control.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 war and has established dozens of settlements where more than 500,000 settlers live. Palestinians seek the territory — along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip — as part of their future state and view the settlements as a major obstacle to resolving the conflict.

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