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Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in occupied West Bank

Friends and relatives mourn the death of Palestinian Odai Salah, 17, who was killed by Israeli forces during a raid near Jenin, according to the Palestinian health ministry [Jaafar Ashtiyeh/AFP]

Ramallah, occupied West Bank – The Israeli army has killed a Palestinian teenager during a raid near the northern occupied West Bank city of Jenin.

The Palestinian health ministry identified the youth as 17-year-old Odai Trad Salah, and said he was shot in the head on Thursday morning in the village of Kufr Dan on the western outskirts of Jenin.

Confrontations had broken out after the Israeli army raided Kufr Dan at dawn. At least three other Palestinians were injured, including one who is in critical condition.

According to the official Palestinian Wafa news agency, Israeli forces raided the homes of two Palestinians from Kufr Dan who were killed on Wednesday.

The two men, Ahmad Abed, aged 23, and Abdul Rahman Abed, 22, had killed an Israeli soldier in an exchange of fire at the Jalama military checkpoint north of Jenin.

“Armed suspects hurled explosive devices and Molotov cocktails and fired toward the soldiers. In response, the soldiers fired toward the suspects. Hits were identified,” the Israeli army said.

On Thursday, the Israeli army carried out preliminary procedures in preparation for the demolition of the homes of their families. They also subjected the men’s families to field interrogations, before arresting one of the relatives.

Israel regularly demolishes the homes of Palestinians who have carried out attacks against Israeli soldiers or civilians, in a policy human rights groups have called “collective punishment”, which is deemed illegal under international law.

Salah’s father, Trad, told local media that his son “was like any other child at the start of his life” and said that Israeli forces had “killed him for no reason”.

“The whole Palestinian people is like Odai. Killings have become daily, they happen in a monstrous way,” said Trad. “We no longer have any dreams in this country.”

A funeral procession was held for the teen on Thursday morning.

Israeli forces arrested 18 Palestinians in overnight raids, including 11 from the Jenin area. Eight of those were from Kufr Dan, according to the Palestinian Prisoners Society.

The Israeli army regularly conducts raids, search and arrest operations in Palestinian towns across the occupied West Bank, which have intensified this year with Palestinians arrested on a near-daily basis.

Palestinian youth often respond to Israeli raids by throwing rocks, which Israeli forces regularly respond to with live ammunition, causing deaths and injuries.

Over the last year, Israel’s raids have been focused on the northern occupied West Bank, mainly in Jenin and Nablus, where Palestinian armed resistance is becoming more organised. Palestinian fighters have carried out shootings on Israeli military checkpoints and have responded to Israeli raids with live fire.

As part of a campaign Israel calls “Break the Wave”, which was launched in March following a string of attacks by Palestinians that killed 19 people in Israel, the army has been carrying out nightly incursions, targeted killings and mass arrests in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian Authority has blamed Israel for the increasingly tense situation in the occupied West Bank, while the head of Israel’s National Security Council, Eyal Hulata, said that the PA had to “act decisively against terrorism”.

According to the Palestinian health ministry, the number of Palestinians killed by Israeli forces in the occupied territories since the start of the year now stands at 149, including 98 in the West Bank. More than 30 of those killed were either from Jenin or were killed in the Jenin region.

The figure also includes 51 Palestinians killed during a three-day Israeli assault on the besieged Gaza Strip in August, in which 17 children were killed.

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