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Palestinians say Israeli army killed 14-year-old in raid


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JERUSALEM — Israeli security forces fatally shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian man in an early Friday morning raid on a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said, the latest incident in weeks of outbreak of violence.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased teenager as Omar Khumor and said he died after being hit in the head by a bullet during an Israeli military raid in the Dheisha refugee camp near the city of Bethlehem.

The Israeli army said the forces entered the Dheisha camp and were pelted with Molotov cocktails and stones. He said the soldiers responded to the assault with live fire.

Khumor’s death brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank this year to 14, including three people under the age of 18, according to an Associated Press tally.

Violence and unrest have raged for months in the occupied West Bank, which Israel conquered in the 1967 Middle East war, as well as East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip – territories the Palestinians want for the state they hope for. Around half a million Israelis now live in around 130 settlements across the West Bank, which the Palestinians and much of the international community see as an obstacle to peace.

The Israeli army has been carrying out almost nightly arrest raids in the territory since last spring. The raids were triggered by a wave of Palestinian attacks on Israelis that killed 19 people, while another 10 Israelis were killed in a second round of attacks later last year.

Israel says the raids are intended to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. The Palestinians see them as further reinforcement of Israel’s 55-year indefinite occupation of the lands they seek for their future state.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed by Israeli fire in the West Bank and East Jerusalem in 2022, according to figures from Israeli rights group B’Tselem, making it the deadliest year since 2004.

Israel says most of the dead were militants. But Palestinian stone throwers, youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in the clashes were also killed.

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