Palestinian teen shot dead after wounding Israeli soldier

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank on Thursday after the military said he hit a soldier in the face with a hammer.

In a separate incident, Israeli authorities said they had “prevented a disaster” by arresting a Palestinian in Tel Aviv who was armed with an assault rifle and two pipe bombs.

The arrest in the Jaffa area came as Israelis were flocking to the city’s bars and restaurants at the start of the weekend. In April, a Palestinian gunman opened fire at a crowded bar in the city, killing three people and wounding another six. That assailant eluded a massive police manhunt for hours before he was killed in a shootout.

Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid commended the security forces for “preventing a significant terrorist attack.”

The military said the soldier was lightly wounded during the confrontation in the West Bank. It said the Palestinian was carrying a hammer as well as a knife, and circulated pictures of both. The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased as Haitham Mubarak, 17. It did not provide any further information.

Israel has been carrying out nightly arrest raids in West Bank cities, towns and villages since a spate of attacks against Israelis in the spring, including the Tel Aviv shooting, killed 19 people.

The Palestinian Health Ministry says 93 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year. The toll includes attackers and gunmen who traded fire with Israeli forces, as well as civilians. It also includes local youths who appear to have taken to the streets with stones and firebombs in response to the incursions.

The high toll already makes this the deadliest year in the occupied West Bank since 2016, with nearly four months to go.

Rights groups accuse Israeli forces of using excessive force in their dealings with the Palestinians, without being held accountable. The military says they contend with complex, life-threatening scenarios.

Israel says the arrest raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and prevent attacks. The Palestinians say the operations are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military occupation of territories they want for an independent state.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for a future state. There have been no serious peace talks in more than a decade.

Copyright © 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.

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