Israeli forces have killed four Palestinians in separate raids in the occupied West Bank, sparking protests and clashes in the region.
On Tuesday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian in a raid on a refugee camp near the northern town of Tulkarem, the Palestinian health ministry said. The ministry identified the victim as 21-year-old Ayed Samih Khaled, who was hit by a bullet to the head in the Nur Shams camp.
The Israeli military said its troops were trying to detain a vehicle after its passengers had crossed illegally into Israel. It said the vehicle fled and hit a soldier, after which “the soldiers fired toward the vehicle”.
On Friday, Israeli forces killed two Palestinian teenagers in the Nablus governorate, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent. One of them, 18-year-old Fawzi Hani Makhalfeh, was shot dead by Israeli troops in the town of Sebastia, while the other, 17-year-old Muhammad Fouad Atta al-Bayed, was shot in the head by Israeli forces during unrest in the village of Umm Safa.
The Israeli army said that a member of the paramilitary border police unit opened fire after masked suspects threw stones and rocks at Israeli forces in Umm Safa. It also said that it responded to a car-ramming attempt in Sebastia by shooting at the vehicle, killing the driver and injuring another suspect.
The families of the slain teenagers denied that they were involved in any attacks and said they were ambushed by Israeli forces while driving. Local media reported that Makhalfeh had just passed his high school exams and was in good spirits before he was killed.
On Sunday, Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian gunman after he allegedly opened fire at them in Jenin camp in the northern West Bank, the Israeli military said. It said that soldiers opened fire in response to stone-throwing and explosives, hitting one suspect who had thrown a bomb.
Islamic Jihad claimed one of those killed in Jenin was a member of its armed wing, and vowed a “strong response from the resistance”.
The killings are part of a year-long period of violence, marked by repeated Israeli raids on the West Bank, which has shown no signs of abating. The raids often spark deadly clashes between the army and Palestinians.
More than 200 Palestinians have been killed this year in Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. The fighting has surged since a series of Palestinian attacks killed 19 people in Israel. The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed were attackers. But stone-throwing young people protesting against the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.
Israel captured the West Bank in the Six-Day War of 1967 and has built more than 130 settlements there, many of which resemble small towns, with apartment blocks, shopping malls and industrial zones.
The Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza Strip – territories captured by Israel in 1967. But Israel has annexed East Jerusalem and considers it part of its capital, while maintaining a blockade on Gaza.
The peace process between Israel and the Palestinians has been stalled for years, with no prospects for resuming negotiations.