Israeli forces kill 2 Palestinian teenagers in West Bank

Reuters , AP , Friday 31 May 2019

Israeli occupation forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager who was trying to climb a security fence and cross into Jerusalem from the West Bank on Friday.

Palestinian witnesses told Reuters the 16-year-old had tried to climb the border fence near Bethlehem in the West Bank to visit Jerusalem on the last Friday of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Palestinian health officials said the teenager died from a gunshot and a 21-year-old was also shot and wounded.

A spokesman for Israeli police said that troops had shot a Palestinian who tried to "infiltrate into Israel" by scaling the fence and the incident was being investigated.

The boy’s father, Louai Ghaith, said his son had been trying to enter Jerusalem to pray at Al-Aqsa Mosque for the holy day.

Ghaith’s body was brought to a Bethlehem hospital, where his distraught family identified him.

“He was going to fulfill his religious duty, he was going to worship,” Ghaith said. “They killed him ... with a bullet to his heart, like a game, and 16 years I’ve been raising him.”

Separately, Israeli police said they shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian suspected of carrying out two stabbings near Damascus Gate, a bustling main entrance to the predominantly Palestinian part of the occupied Old City.

Police said one Israeli was in critical condition, while the second was in moderate condition.

The suspect, police added, was shot by security forces while running through the Old City’s Muslim quarter.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the teen as Yousef Wajih, from a village near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The stabbings happened just hours before busloads of Muslim worshippers were to arrive from both Israel and the West Bank for Friday prayers at Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem.

Israeli police said that over 150,000 people gathered for midday prayers, which passed without further incident. At nightfall, adherents will return to the golden-topped Dome of the Rock for intense prayer observance of “Laylat al-Qadr” or “the Night of Destiny.”

*This story was compiled and edited by Ahram Online

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