IDF soldiers opened fire on a 17-year-old Palestinian who apparently hurled a Molotov cocktail in their direction during clashes near the Hashoter checkpoint in Hebron Thursday evening. The Palestinian sustained severe injuries.
Palestinian sources said the youngster was hit in the chest and was evacuated to a local hospital in serious condition. The army said the soldiers operated according to standard IDF protocol for engaging a suspicious individual.
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The clashes 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.
Riots in Hebron (Photo: AFP)
During the morning hours 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. Large Palestinian police forces arrived at the scene to restrain the rioters.
Violent incidents in the territories have been on the rise since Operation Pillar of Defense and the UN's recognition of the Palestinian Authority as a non-member observer state.
Soldiers detain rioters (Photo: EPA)
The name and photo of the Border Guard 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 a criminal and featured threats to her life.
"There's no escaping death," one of the messages said. "You're going down," said another.
Palestinian sources said the teenager who was killed was the brother of Awad Salima, who was sentenced by Israel to life in prison but was released as part of the Shalit prisoner exchange deal. Salima was jailed in 1993 for stabbing an Israeli citizen. He served 18 years in prison before being released.
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.
You can contact Elior Levy, Ynet's Palestinian Affairs Correspondent, at: firstname.lastname@example.org