Two Palestinians, including 12-year-old, killed in West Bank clashes


Ramallah (dpa) – A 12-year-old Palestinian boy died Monday in hospital after being shot in the chest by Israeli security forces during clashes in the West Bank, medics said, after a Palestinian man died from wounds suffered over the weekend.

The boy was identified as Shadi Abdel-Rahman Abdullah and he died in a hospital near Bethlehem. The second person was 18-year-old Huthaifa Suleiman, who was also shot in the chest near a Jewish settlement in the northern West Bank the previous day.

The Israeli army, commenting on the incident near Bethlehem, said security forces first used riot dispersal means to break up a group of about 50 people involved in throwing stones.

“Upon the continued aggression the force responded with .22 caliber rounds towards a main instigator, identifying the hit. The incident will be investigated,” the army said.

Riots erupted on the West Bank over the weekend between Israeli forces and Palestinian protesters.

Israeli Intelligence Minister Israel Katz threatened Sunday to launch new military operations against Palestinians after two Israelis were killed in weekend attacks in Jerusalem. Two Palestinian perpetrators were also killed.

Medics treated more than 450 Palestinians hurt in the weekend clashes, including dozens shot with live ammunition or rubber bullets, Red Crescent spokeswoman Urab Fuqaha said, adding that three medical workers were also hit by rubber bullets.

Israeli soldiers closed several checkpoints around major West Bank cities on Monday as tensions remained high.

Israeli warplanes attacked a number of targets in Gaza early Monday in response to the firing of a rocket from Gaza into Israel the night before.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected to head a security cabinet meeting later in the day to discuss the rise in violence in the Palestinian territories.

There have been increasing clashes in recent weeks between Israelis and Palestinians amid a rift over the use of the flashpoint Temple Mount/Noble Sanctuary, which lies in Jerusalem’s Old City.