Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian 17-year-old in the occupied West Bank on Friday, hospital officials said. Israeli military claimed the boy had been about to throw a petrol bomb.
The region has been witnessing intensifying violence since four months, raising more concerns of wider escalation, a decade after the last Palestinian uprising subsided.
According to Israeli military, the incident took place on a main West Bank highway where soldiers spotted the youth holding a lit Molotov Cocktail and about to throw it at vehicles traveling along.
“The force responded to the immediate threat, prevented the attack, and shot one of the assailants,” an Israeli military spokeswoman said. The Palestinian Health Ministry confirmed his death and age.
The recent wave of stabbings, shootings and car-rammings carried out by Palestinians has killed 27 Israelis and a U.S. citizen since October. Nonetheless, authorities say that Israeli forces have killed at least 156 Palestinians, 101 of them assailants. Most of the others died during violent protests.
The horrid bloodshed has been partly driven by Palestinian frustration over long-stalled peace talks which have failed to deliver them an independent state and rage at perceived Jewish encroachment on a contested Jerusalem shrine.