Palestinians say teen killed by Israeli fire in West Bank

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli troops shot and killed a teenager during an operation in a town near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

The Ministry identified Zaid Ghunaim, a 15-year-old teenager who was killed. It said he was shot in the neck and back by Israeli gunfire and that doctors failed to save his life.

The number of Palestinian teenagers killed in Israeli military operations in the West Bank has risen to five in a month. Israeli-Palestinian violence has intensified in recent weeks, with near-daily arrests and attacks in Palestinian-administered areas of the West Bank, and tensions around the holy site of Jerusalem, sacred to both Muslims and Jews.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing witnesses, said Gunaim encountered soldiers in al-Khader and tried to flee, but the troops shot him. Online video from the aftermath of the shooting allegedly showed blood near a white car parked in the passage.

There was no immediate comment by the Israeli military, which has stepped up operations in the West Bank in response to a series of deadly attacks inside Israel.

Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Steyer said Israeli forces “deliberately” fired on Gunaim with the intent to kill him.

On Sunday, Israeli ultranationalists plan march Walk through the main Muslim avenue in the Old City of Jerusalem. The compound houses the Al-Aqsa Mosque, the third holiest site in Islam. The hilltop site is also the holiest place for the Jews, who called it the Temple Mount.

The parade celebrates Israel’s occupation of East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war. Israel subsequently annexed the region, a move that has not been recognized internationally. Palestinians claim East Jerusalem as the capital of a future state.

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