A 17-year-old Palestinian resident of the West Bank town of Al-Ram was shot dead by the Israeli military early Friday. The victim, who has been identified as Mohammed Hani Alcasbah, was reportedly killed when an Israeli army commander opened fire at Palestinian stone throwers.
“The commander did what he had to do due to threat to his life,” an Israeli officer, whose name was not revealed, told Haaretz, adding that several Palestinian protesters ambushed the vehicle and started throwing stones at it.
It is not yet clear whether anyone else was injured in the incident, which took place while the vehicle was en route to the Qalandiyah checkpoint, located along Jerusalem’s western boundary.
"The forces called the suspect to halt and shot warning shots in the air. Once he continued hurling rocks at close range and in response to the imminent danger the forces fired towards the suspect," an Israeli army spokeswoman told Agence France-Presse (AFP).
The West Bank, which houses several Israeli settlements that have been declared illegal by international community, has been a site of frequent and violent clashes between Palestinian protesters and Israeli military.
Although tensions on the ground have defused since their peak in the aftermath of the 50-day war in the Gaza Strip last year, the region continues to be a site of frequent conflagrations over the disputed status of Al-Aqsa and Temple Mount compound in East Jerusalem as well as over Israel’s settlement policy.
The latest incident comes just a week after another Palestinian was shot dead by Israeli security forces after he reportedly opened fire on them. In November last year, two Palestinians, armed with cleavers and a gun, entered a synagogue in Jerusalem and killed four Jewish worshippers amid ongoing clashes in the surrounding towns and cities.