Palestinian teenager (16) killed by Israeli army close to West Bank fence


Israeli troops have shot and killed a Palestinian teenager close to Israel’s West Bank separation barrier – the fourth fatality in recent days.

Palestinian sources reported that 16-year-old Samir Awad, from the village of Budrus, northwest of Ramallah, was killed after being shot four times by Israeli soldiers.

A statement from the popular struggle co-ordination committee cited eyewitness accounts that the boy was walking away from a minor confrontation with troops when he was shot in the chest, neck and leg.

Ayeed Mora, a member of the Budrus popular committee, told the Ha’aretz newspaper that Samir and his friends went out to the fields outside the village after school and were ambushed by Israeli soldiers.

“In recent days we feel an escalation by the army, which shoots at everything that approaches the fence, even if they are children. Time and time again, we hear the claim that the young Palestinians provoked or hurled stones, but nothing justifies the shooting of live rounds at children.”

Warning shots alleged

A statement from the Israeli military said the troops opened fire on the youth who, it said, attempted to cross into Israel from the West Bank. He later died of his wounds in a Ramallah hospital. They claimed the soldiers fired warning shots after the youth ignored orders to stop.

An initial army investigation found a violent disturbance occurred in the area, during which Palestinians attempted to cut open the security fence erected by Israel to prevent West Bank residents crossing into Israel.

Samir Awad is the fourth Palestinian killed by troops in recent days and Israeli officials have expressed concern that the increase in violence may mark the beginning of a third Palestinian intifada uprising.

Reuters adds: Israeli police, using stun grenades, blocked about 50 Palestinian activists who tried yesterday to reoccupy tents they pitched last week on a patch of West Bank land in an area known as “E1”, which Israel wants for Jewish settlements.