West News Wire: According to Palestinian officials, Israeli troops shot and killed a 15-year-old Palestinian in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli military entered Azzoun, a West Bank town, late on Thursday, according to Ahmad Enaya, the mayor, and when youths threw rocks at the vehicle, soldiers opened fire.

Muhammad Nidal Salim was “killed by bullets in the back fired at him by the occupation [Israeli] soldiers,” according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.

The ministry stated that two more people were hurt, one of whom is a young child who is in critical condition.

According to a statement from the Israeli military, while conducting a search in the region for those who had thrown explosives at forces, soldiers shot at suspects who launched fireworks at Israeli vehicles passing near Azzoun.

It said it was aware of reports of people being wounded but did not confirm any Palestinian deaths.

Violence in the West Bank has been spiralling, with Israel conducting near-daily raids over the last year, killing hundreds of Palestinians.

Late on Sunday, the Palestinian town of Huwara came under attack from Israeli settlers, hours after two settlers were shot dead as they drove through the northern West Bank town.

Hundreds of settlers set homes and cars ablaze and hurled stones in Huwara overnight, and a Palestinian man was killed in the nearby village of Zaatara.

The settler rampage was described by Palestinians, and an Israeli general, as a “pogrom”, with apparent support from some leading Israeli politicians.

Israel’s far-right finance minister, Bezalel Smotrich, said Huwara should be “wiped out”, leading to a rebuke from the United States.

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On Monday, gunmen shot dead an Israeli-American motorist, and on Wednesday Israeli forces searching for suspects in the Aqabat Jaber refugee camp near Jericho killed a Palestinian man.

Since Israel’s new government assumed power at the end of last year, Israeli troops have conducted three significant raids in Palestinian communities, including one in Nablus on February 22 that resulted in the highest number of Palestinian fatalities in a single Israeli military operation since 2005.

There had also been an increase in Palestinian attacks against Israelis and the emergence of new armed Palestinian groups.

The United States, Jordan, and Egypt have made an appeal for peace out of concern that tensions may rise before the Jewish Passover holiday and the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Since the beginning of 2023, at least 66 Palestinians have died, including gunmen and civilians, according to the Palestinian health ministry. Throughout the same period, Palestinian terrorism claimed the lives of 13 Israelis and a visitor from Ukraine.


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