Israeli forces have shot dead a 17-year-old Palestinian in West Bank clashes during what Israel on Monday described as an operation to demolish the home of a ‘terrorist’ suspected of a recent attack.
The Palestinian health ministry said Mohammad Abu Salah was killed in the village of Silat al-Harithiya near the flashpoint town of Jenin in the Israeli-occupied West Bank.
Israel’s army in a statement said its troops along with border police had entered the village “to demolish the floor of the residence in which the terrorist Mohammad Jaradat resided”.
It claimed Jaradat and others had carried out the recent fatal shooting of a Jewish settler in the West Bank.
The army said “violent riots” broke out ahead of the planned demolition, “with the participation of hundreds of Palestinians”, some of whom allegedly hurled explosives at Israeli troops.
“The troops identified a number of armed rioters, and fired towards them in order to neutralise the threat,” the army statement claimed without commenting directly on the teen’s death.
Israel regularly destroys the homes of individuals it claims have carried out attacks on Israelis, in the West Bank and east Jerusalem.
The practice, which often fuels tensions, has been condemned by critics as a form of collective punishment. Israel insists it deters attacks.
The army claimed Jaradat was responsible for the death of Yehuda Dimentman, a 25-year-old religious student shot dead in the West Bank in December.
A married father, Dimentman was studying at a religious school in the Homesh settlement in the West Bank when he was killed in a shooting that wounded several others.
Israel arrested several people over the shooting days after it occurred.
Roughly 475,000 Jewish settlers live in the West Bank, alongside some 2.9 million Palestinians, in communities widely regarded as illegal under international law.
Homesh is among the settlements that even Israel considers to be unauthorised.
It had been evacuated by Israeli forces in 2005 but settlers have nevertheless continued to operate there, fuelling tensions with Palestinians.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six Day War.