Israeli forces kill Palestinian boy in Bethlehem: Ministry

The violence in 2022 made it the deadliest year in the West Bank since United Nations records began in 2005.

January 16, 2023 11:12 pm | Updated 11:12 pm IST - Dheisheh, Palestinian Territories

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian boy Monday near Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said, where the army said they opened fire after people threw Molotov cocktails.

Omar Khmour, 14, was shot in the head early Monday in the Dheisheh refugee camp in the southern West Bank and "succumbed to his wounds", the ministry said.

The Israeli military said Monday that troops opened fire after "suspects hurled rocks, explosive devices and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers."

He is the second boy killed in Dheisheh during an Israeli military incursion so far this month.

One person was arrested by troops in Dheisheh, the Palestinian Prisoners' Club advocacy group said.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said the army had entered the camp "at dawn and launched a campaign of raids on citizens' homes."

Mourners gathered later Monday for Mr. Khmour's funeral, with his mother leading the procession of his body through Dheisheh.

His body was wrapped in a red and white keffiyeh scarf and a Palestinian flag, before being carried by militants from the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP).

Mr. Khmour is the fourteenth Palestinian killed in the West Bank since the start of the year, including civilians and fighters, the majority shot dead by Israeli forces, according to an AFP tally.

Following a series of fatal attacks targeting Israelis last March and April, Israeli forces launched near-nightly raids in the West Bank in which scores have been killed.

The violence in 2022 made it the deadliest year in the West Bank since United Nations records began in 2005.

At least 26 Israelis and 200 Palestinians were killed across Israel and the Palestinian territories last year, according to AFP figures.

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