The Palestinian Health Ministry has charged the Israeli army with the killing of a 16-year-old Palestinian during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus on Thursday. The teenager, identified as Amer Abu Zeitoun, died after he was shot in the head by Israeli soldiers during clashes between the Israeli and Palestinian forces.
Official Palestinian news agency WAFA also confirmed the shooting of Abu Zeitoun in clashes between the Palestinians and Israeli soldiers during an army arrest raid but could not instantly clarify if Zeitoun was part of the confrontations.
The Israeli-Palestinian tensions have soared for almost a year now with the ongoing bloodshed in the region. Earlier this week, an Israeli rights group called 2022 as the deadliest year for Palestinians since 2004. The year was a period of gruesome violence that came following a Palestinian uprising.
After a series of Palestinian attacks against the Israelis that killed 19 last spring, the Israeli military has conducted near-daily raids into Palestinian cities and towns. Israel defends these raids as a mean to disrupt militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians, however, see this as a further entrenchment of Israel's 55-year, open-ended occupation of the West Bank.
The Israeli firing killed nearly 150 Palestinians in the West Bank and East Jerusalem last year, as per non-profit B'Tselem, thus making 2022 the deadliest since 2004 when 197 Palestinians were killed. A wave of fresh attacks killed at least another nine Israelis in the fall.
The Israeli army claims most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. However, stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also died in the crossfires.
The Palestinians continue to seek terroritories for a future state that Israel captured in the 1967 Mideast war including the West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.
(With AP inputs)