Israeli soldiers clashed with Palestinians in two West Bank cities on Thursday as violence between the two sides spiraled, shattering months of relative calm in the area. The clashes came as 15 Israeli troops were hurt in three separate attacks in 12 hours in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
In Bethlehem, troops fought with local residents as they searched for the perpetrator of a car-ramming attack in Jerusalem the night before that left 12 IDF soldiers wounded, one seriously. The car involved in the attack was found abandoned in nearby Beit Jala.
Hours later, a Border Policeman was shot in the hand in the Old City of Jerusalem and shortly afterwards a soldier sustained light wounds in a shooting near the settlement of Dolev in the central West Bank.
In Jenin, a member of the Palestinian security forces died Thursday from wounds sustained from a stray bullet during clashes in the city.
It is unclear where the bullet came from; the IDF has launched an investigation to determine whether the man was shot by its troops or by Palestinian snipers at the scene.
Those clashes broke out when IDF troops entered the city to demolish the home of a terrorist who killed father of six Raziel Shevah in a September 2018 drive-by shooting near Nablus.
Jenin governor Akram Rajoub said the policeman was not involved in clashes and that he was standing in front of a police station when he was hit by a bullet in the abdomen.
But a video released by Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas' Fatah movement showed the man standing inside the building when he was shot.
A 19-year-old Palestinian was killed and six others were wounded in the ensuing clashes, Palestinian hospital sources said.
IDF Spokesman Lt. Col. Jonathan Conricus said Thursday there was a "sizable riot" at the scene by Palestinians who threw Molotov cocktails at troops, who then came under sniper fire.
He said forces responded to the violence with their own sniper fire, saying a Palestinian shooter was killed.
Conricus could not confirm whether the 19-year-old was the sniper. He said there had been an "uptick in intensity" in the means used against Israeli troops in the West Bank.
Governor Rajoub said the youth was a student at an academy that trains budding police officers and had been throwing stones at the troops when he was shot.
A general strike was announced in the city with schools and government offices shut as well as private businesses. The teen was buried in Jenin on Thursday.
First published: 14:53, 02.06.20