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Palestinian teenager killed in Israeli raid in West Bank

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Amid renewed tensions in the Middle East, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy was killed Monday near Jericho in the occupied West Bank following an Israeli raid. On the same day, hundreds of Israelis took part in a march towards Eviatar, a settlement not recognized by the Israeli authorities in the northern West Bank, to demand its legalization.

A Palestinian teenager was killed on Monday April 10 during an Israeli military operation in the occupied West Bank, a new stage in the escalation of violence in the region in recent days.

The Israeli army said in a brief statement that “security forces were carrying out an operation in Aqabat Jaber”, a refugee camp located near Jericho in the occupied West Bank, without immediately giving further details.

The Palestinian ministry later announced the death of 15-year-old Mohamed Fayez Balhan, “killed by live ammunition from the occupation” after being shot in the head and chest, according to a statement.

This operation comes the day after the funeral of two young Israeli women murdered on Friday in a Palestinian attack in the Jericho area.

Rising tensions

Security tension has been on the rise since the brutal irruption on Wednesday of Israeli forces in the Al-Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem, the third holiest site in Islam, which sparked a series of international condemnations.

Deadly attacks, rocket attacks from Gaza, Lebanon and Syria, followed by Israeli reprisals, tarnished the festive atmosphere marking the celebrations of Jewish Passover, Christian Passover and Ramadan.

On Wednesday, Israeli forces twice burst into the Al-Aqsa mosque and dislodged worshipers gathered for night prayers in the middle of Ramadan. Israel says law enforcement was ‘forced to act to restore order’ in the face of ‘extremists’ barricaded in the mosque with rocks and firework flares which were used against the police during their assault.

The next day, around 30 rockets were fired from Lebanon into Israel, injuring one person and causing material damage. The Israeli army retaliated by carrying out strikes in Gaza and southern Lebanon.

And on Friday evening, Israel announced the mobilization of reserve police units and military reinforcements, after a car bombing in Tel Aviv that claimed the life of an Italian tourist, and the death of two Israeli sisters aged 16 and 20 in an attack in the West Bank.

“If one of the terrorists thinks that during the holiday period he will be able to evade the security forces, he is wrong. Anyone who acts against us, we will settle his account,” Israeli Defense Minister Yoav said on Sunday. Gallant on Twitter.

March for the legalization of a colony

In addition, hundreds of Israelis took part in a march on Monday towards Eviatar, a settlement not recognized by the Israeli authorities in the north of the West Bank, to demand its legalization, noted an AFP journalist.

Several ministers and deputies are expected, including the Minister of Public Security Itamar Ben Gvir. The latter, a supporter of the settlers’ cause in the West Bank, declared in a video broadcast by his office that Israel “does not capitulate to terrorism, neither in Eviatar nor in Tel Aviv”.

Rivka Katzir, 74, a resident of the settlement of Elkana, present at this march, told AFP that “the only solution for all these problems is to settle here” in Eviatar.

March of pro-settlers in the West Bank: thousands of people expected in Evyatar
March of pro-settlers in the West Bank: thousands of people expected in Evyatar © AFP

In 2021, several Palestinians were killed by Israeli army fire in the village of Beita, neighboring Eviatar, during protests against the establishment of the settlement.

Since the beginning of the year, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has claimed the lives of at least 94 Palestinians, 18 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian, according to an AFP tally compiled from official Israeli and Palestinian sources.

These figures include, on the Palestinian side, combatants and civilians, including minors, and on the Israeli side, mostly civilians, including minors, and three members of the Arab minority.

With AFP

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