A Palestinian teenager died Thursday during clashes with Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank that broke out as the military was pursuing targets allegedly linked to a soldier’s killing.
The Palestinian health ministry identified the victim as Uday Salah, 17, saying he was “killed by a bullet to the head fired by the Israeli occupation soldiers in Kafr Dan, Jenin governorate,” an area that has seen near daily violence in recent months.
The Israeli army said its forces were “mapping out the homes of the terrorists who killed Major Bar Falah,” who was shot dead at a checkpoint north of Jenin in pre-dawn clashes on Wednesday. Two Palestinians, Ahmed Abed and Abdul Rahman Abed, also died in Wednesday’s violence.
The army added that the aim of the mapping exercise was “to examine the possibility of demolishing the residences of the terrorists,” who killed Falah, part of Israel’s controversial practice of destroying the homes of Palestinian fighters accused of deadly attacks.
“During the mapping process, armed suspects hurled explosive devices and Molotov cocktails and fired toward the soldiers,” the statement said.
“In response, the soldiers fired toward the suspects. Hits were identified.”
Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that soldiers had raided the family homes of both Ahmed and Abdul Rahman Abed, and arrested “Amer Taha Abed, who is the cousin of the martyr Ahmed Abed.”
The army said that “two suspects were apprehended for assisting the terrorists who shot Major Bar Falah.” It said six more suspects were arrested in other West Bank locations.
Hamas, the militant movement that rules Gaza, “saluted” the “heroes of Jenin who fought tonight,” praising Palestinians who “stand up to the daily raids by the occupation throughout the occupied West Bank.”
The al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement, said its fighters were involved in Thursday’s clashes.
The same movement had claimed responsibility for the Israeli major’s death on Wednesday.
Jenin has suffered frequent violence in recent months, part of a deadly flare-up that began in mid-March following deadly attacks on Israeli targets, mostly by Palestinians.
In response, Israel has launched near nightly raids on West Bank towns and cities that have killed dozens of Palestinians, including fighters.
Last week, Israeli army chief Aviv Kohavi said “around 1,500 wanted people were arrested and hundreds of attacks prevented” in the operations.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967 when it captured the territory from Jordan.
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