Palestinian teen shot by Israeli troops in West Bank dies

AP , Thursday 17 Jun 2021

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Ahmad Shamsa, 15, died of a gunshot wound sustained a day earlier

West Bank
Palestinian mourners chant anti Israel slogans during the funeral of Ahmad Shamsa, 15, in the West Bank village of Beta, near Nablus, Thursday, June. 17, 2021 AP

A Palestinian teenager died Thursday after being shot by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank during a protest against a settlement outpost, the fourth demonstrator to be killed since the outpost was established last month.

Tensions remain high in the region following Israel's 11-day military campaign on Gaza Strip in May.

The Israeli military said Wednesday that a soldier stationed near the wildcat outpost saw a group of Palestinians approaching, and that one ``hurled a suspicious object at him, which exploded adjacent to the soldier.'' The army said that the soldier fired in the air, then shot the Palestinian who threw the object.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Ahmad Shamsa, 15, died of a gunshot wound sustained a day earlier.

Settlers established the outpost, which they refer to as Eviatar, near the northern West Bank town of Nablus last month and say it is now home to dozens of families. Palestinians say it is built on private land and fear it will grow and merge with other large settlements nearby.

Israeli authorities have evacuated the outpost on several occasions. They appear reluctant to do so this time because it would embarrass Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and other right-wing members of the fragile government sworn in over the weekend.

Palestinians from the nearby village of Beita have held several protests in which demonstrators and Israeli troops have fired tear gas and live ammunition. Four Palestinians have been killed since mid-May, including Shamsa and another teenager.

In a separate incident, the Israeli military shot and killed a Palestinian woman on Wednesday, saying she had tried to ram her car into a group of soldiers guarding a West Bank construction site.

The family of Mai Afaneh insisted she had no reason or ability to carry out an attack.

Palestinians and Israeli human rights groups say the soldiers often use excessive force and could have stopped some assailants without killing them. In some cases, they say that innocent people have been identified as attackers and shot.

The Palestinians seek the Israeli-occupied West Bank, where the Palestinian Authority exerts limited self-rule in population centers, as part of a future state along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Israel captured all three territories in the 1967 war and says Jerusalem is indivisible. There have been no substantive peace talks in more than a decade.

*This story was edited by Ahram Online. 

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