Israeli soldiers fatally shoot Palestinian rock thrower

RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saturday that Israeli forces shot and killed a young man in the occupied West Bank.

The ministry said Musab Nofal, 18, was hit with a bullet in the chest and died at hospital in the city of Ramallah. Another Palestinian was also seriously wounded.

The Israeli military said Nofal and the second Palestinian were hurling stones at Israeli vehicles traveling on a West Bank road near Silwad, northeast of Ramallah, damaging several cars. Soldiers aimed live fire toward the rock throwers, it added.

The violence was the latest in a wave of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and east Jerusalem that has killed more than 130 Palestinians this year, making 2022 the deadliest since the U.N. started tracking fatalities in 2005.

The violence came as a political shift is underway in Israel after national elections, with former longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu set to return to power in a coalition government made up of far-right allies, including the extremist lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, who in response to the incidents said Israel would soon take a tougher approach to attackers.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, and has since maintained a military occupation over the territory and settled more than 500,000 people there. The Palestinians want the territory, along with the West Bank and east Jerusalem, for their hoped-for independent state.

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