between Palestinian protesters and Israeli troops continued in Hebron on Thursday as tension in the region continued to mount over the death
of a local teenager.
The 17-year-old Palestinian was shot dead on Wednesday by a Border Guard sergeant when he brandished a gun that later turned out to be fake. The incident occurred at a checkpoint near the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hebron. The officer received threats to her life as photos of her circulated on social networks.
On Thursday morning, dozens of Palestinian youths in the West Bank city threw stones and bottles at troops, who responded with tear gas. There were no immediate reports of serious injuries.
Clashes in Hebron this week (Photo: Reuters)
Palestinian teen's body (Photo: EPA)
The confrontations followed several days of violent riots in the region. Last week saw two incidents in which IDF troops were forced to retreat
after being attacked by stone-throwing mobs, and on Tuesday an army vehicle caught fire while Palestinian protesters hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at soldiers in Naalin.
The name and photo of the border police officer who fired at the Palestinian teen was released by the Israeli media on Wednesday before being placed under a gag order. Palestinians web users circulated the image, alongside images of other Israeli combat troops, in the social media and international anti-Israel forums.
The messages branded the officer as a criminal and featured threats to her life.
"There's no escaping death," one of the messages said. "You're going down," said another.
'Death is unavoidable.' Online threat
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch spoke with the sergeant on Thursday and praised her for exemplary conduct.
"You acted as you were trained, with courage, determination and without hesitation, as is expected of Border Guard combatants," he said.
The officer recalled on Wednesday that she didn't have much time to consider her actions.
"I saw the Palestinian pull a gun out of his back pocket and hold it up to the other soldier. I knew I only had a few seconds so I cocked my weapon and looked for the right angle – so as not to hurt the soldier."
According to the sergeant, she was a few yards away, at the checkpoint post, during the incident. "He (the soldier) asked a Palestinian teenager for his ID. I stepped out to fill out a checkpoint report and I saw the Palestinian attack the soldier and take out a gun."
AP contributed to the report