14-year-old Palestinian boy killed by Israeli forces amid continued unrest in the West Bank

Qusay Hamamra’s death was the second fatal shooting by Israeli forces in the village in five days and came amid a series of violent incidents and clashes in the compound overnight.

Wrapped in a Palestinian flag, the boy’s body was carried through the village by men who hailed him as a martyr. His mother told CNN she was worried after she warned Qusay not to go outside after the family finished iftar, the meal that breaks the daily fast during Ramadan.

“Right after he left, I found out that he had been killed,” said Umm Mohammed. “He was such a kind boy, very caring.”

The Israeli army said soldiers opened fire on him after he threw a Molotov cocktail at them.

“IDF soldiers used live ammunition to stop the immediate threat, in accordance with the rules of open fire. A hit has been established. No IDF casualties were reported,” the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) said in a statement.

An eyewitness told CNN that the soldiers were shooting at someone preparing firebombs and that Qusay was trying to hide from the bullets when he was hit. Ayman Hamamra showed CNN holes in the wall of his house, which he said were caused by shelling by Israeli soldiers.

Just a few meters from the house stood several concrete blocks, in front of which, on Saturday, soldiers shot and killed 47-year-old Gada Sabatin. The army said the military opened fire on her legs after she did not heed calls and warning shots to stop at a pop-up checkpoint. The Palestinian Health Ministry said she died from blood loss.

Dozens of soldiers and Israeli border police again arrived in the area on Thursday amid fears that the funeral could spark further unrest in the village, which is just a few kilometers west of Bethlehem.

Violence in the West Bank

Tensions are high in Israel and the West Bank as Israeli forces step up operations in the face of what Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has called a “new wave of terrorism” – four attacks in Israeli cities that have killed 14 people.

Both Israeli and Palestinian sources reported new incidents of violence in several places in the West Bank on Wednesday evening.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a 20-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed during clashes in Silwad, northeast of Ramallah. He called him Omar Alyan and said that he had been shot in the chest. At least five other people were injured in live fire, the ministry said. Video on social media showed significant riots in the village on Wednesday evening, with hundreds of people throwing rocks at Israeli military vehicles passing through the city.

Israeli security officials said in a statement that their forces are conducting operations in the area to search for a 33-year-old Hamas member who escaped from a Palestinian Authority prison.

The Shin Bet statement said that Maad Hamed, who is in prison for participating in a shooting that killed an Israeli in 2015, was arrested in the nearby village of Kobar. An unknown number of people in Silvada were also arrested on suspicion of “facilitating terrorist activities”.

In addition, two Palestinians were killed Thursday morning in clashes with Israeli forces in Jenin, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Jenin, located in the north of the West Bank, has been the focus of Israeli security operations in recent days because two Palestinian militants who carried out recent attacks on Israeli territory came from the area.

The Israeli army said in a statement that security forces arrested a total of 18 people suspected of terrorist activities during night operations in the West Bank, as well as confiscating weapons.

This story has been updated.

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