Israeli forces kill Palestinian boy in West Bank

Published : 05 Jan 2023 07:00 PM

The Israeli army killed a Palestinian boy Thursday in the West Bank city of Nablus, the  Palestinian health ministry said, where armed clashes broke out between militants and Israeli forces.

The health ministry announced "Amer Abu Zeitoun, 16, was killed by a bullet  in the head fired by the occupation (Israeli) soldiers during the aggression  on Nablus at dawn today".

Israel's military said "armed suspects fired towards the soldiers, who  responded with live fire" during an operation to arrest two people.

The Lions' Den, a local Palestinian militant group, said in a statement its  fighters had been involved in the overnight clashes in the Balata refugee  camp in Nablus.

Zeitoun is the fourth Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in the West Bank since the start of the year.

On Tuesday, 15-year-old Adam Essam Shaker Ayyad was killed in Bethlehem as Israel said its forces fired on people throwing rocks and Molotov cocktails.

In December, the United Nations said 2022 had been the deadliest year in the West Bank since its records began in 2005 with more than 150 Palestinians killed.

The inauguration last week of the most right-wing government in Israel's history, led by Benjamin Netanyahu, has sparked fears of a military escalation in the Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since the 1967 Six-Day War.

Two of Netanyahu's extreme-right coalition partners, who have a history of  inflammatory remarks about Palestinians, have taken charge of critical powers  regarding the West Bank.

Bezalel Smotrich holds the portfolio for Israeli settlement policy in the  territory, while Itamar Ben-Gvir serves as national security minister with  powers over the border police force which operate there.

They took office at the end of a year which saw more than 26 Israelis and 230  Palestinians killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories, according  to an AFP tally.