JERUSALEM: Israeli forces on Saturday shot and killed a Palestinian teenager in the occupied West Bank after a group of youths smashed a hole through the Israeli separation barrier and began throwing objects at police.
The shooting happened in Azariyah, a village just outside of Jerusalem, and marked the latest violence in what has become the deadliest year in the West Bank since 2015.
Amateur video shared on social media showed a group of masked youths gathered in front of the towering concrete barrier and chanting slogans as they forced their way through a gate.
“Walk forward our popular fans,” they chanted. “A hole in the separation wall, a patrol explodes.”
Israel’s paramilitary border police said forces shot a protester who attempted to throw a firebomb at them as they came to disperse a demonstration.
It said demonstrators threw stones and explosives at them.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the dead youth as 18-year-old Fayez Damdoum.
Israel built the barrier some 20 years ago in what it said was a security measure meant to prevent attackers from entering Israel.
But the barrier frequently dips into the West Bank, carving off nearly 10 percent of its territory.
The Palestinians view the structure as an illegal land grab and symbol of Israel’s 55-year military occupation of the territory.
Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Middle East war.
Some 700,000 Israeli settlers now live in the two areas, which the Palestinians claim for a future state.
Saturday’s killing came at a time of heightened tensions. Israel has been carrying out stepped-up military activity in the West Bank, mostly in the northern cities of Jenin and Nablus, following a series of deadly Palestinian attacks inside Israel last spring.