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Israeli forces kill Palestinian teen in West Bank clashes

By AFP - Feb 14,2022 - Last updated at Feb 14,2022

Israeli forces deploy during an operation to demolish a residence in the village of Silat Al Harithiya near the flashpoint town of Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank, on Monday (AFP photo)

SILAT AL HARITHIYA, Palestinian Territories — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian teenager in West Bank clashes, during what the army on Monday described as an operation to demolish the home of a suspected “terrorist”.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the youth as Mohammed Abu Salah, 17, who was killed after Israeli forces late Sunday entered the village of Silat Al Harithiya near the flashpoint town of Jenin in the occupied West Bank.

Salah’s mother, Rafika Abu Saleh, told AFP that when her son left their home in the nearby village of Al Yamun he said he was going to a wedding party, but in fact went to the scene of the clashes, where he was shot in the head.

The Israeli forces said soldiers and border police had entered the village “to demolish the floor of the residence in which the terrorist...resided”. The family identified the resident as Mahmoud Jaradat, after the army had earlier said in a statement that his first name was Muhammad.

Israel has blamed Jaradat and others for the fatal shooting of a Jewish settler in the illegal West Bank outpost of Homesh in December.

The army said “violent riots” broke out ahead of the planned demolition, “with the participation of hundreds of Palestinians”, some of whom hurled explosives at Israeli forces.

“The forces identified a number of armed rioters, and fired towards them in order to neutralise the threat,” the Israeli forces said of the operation which continued in the early hours of Monday. The military did not comment directly on Abu Salah’s death.

The teenager’s body, draped in a white sheet, was hoisted by mourners ahead of his funeral, with the burial attended by hundreds of people, including masked gunmen who fired into the air.




The army had set up checkpoints in the area, removing rubbish bins that had been set on fire by Palestinian protesters.

It later said it had completed the demolition and withdrawn from the village.

Israel regularly destroys the homes of individuals it blames for attacks on Israelis.

The practice, which often fuels tensions, has been condemned by critics as a form of collective punishment. Israel insists it deters attacks.

The Israeli forces  said Jaradat was responsible for the death of Yehuda Dimentman, killed when gunmen sprayed a settler car with roughly a dozen bullets as it drove out of Homesh in December. Two others were injured in the attack.

A married father, Dimentman was studying at a religious school in the Homesh, which has remained open despite Israel not recognising the settlement.

Homesh had been evacuated by Israeli forces in 2005 but settlers have nevertheless continued to operate there, fuelling tensions with Palestinians.

Israel arrested four people days after the December shooting.

Around 475,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians, in communities widely regarded as illegal under international law.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is the former head of a settler lobbying council who opposes Palestinian statehood.

He has ruled out any formal peace talks with Palestinians during his tenure but said he will work to improve economic conditions in the West Bank, which Israel has occupied since the 1967 June War.


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