JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian on Saturday in disputed circumstances in the northern West Bank — the latest in a continuing wave of violence that has gripped the area.
The Israeli army said in a statement that two Palestinian men tried to ram a car into soldiers in Sebastia near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus around midnight, but the claim could not be verified. The soldiers opened fire, killing one and wounding the other.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the slain young man as 18-year-old Fawzi Hani. Palestinian media quoted the victims’ family as saying the two did not target soldiers but were ambushed while driving and their car was riddled with bullets.
Local media reported that Hani had just passed her high school exams and was in good spirits before the shooting.
The shooting came hours after a 17-year-old Palestinian man was killed by Israeli gunfire elsewhere in the West Bank.
The spiral of violence, which shows no sign of abating, is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in years. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the West Bank and East Jerusalem, according to an Associated Press tally.
Violence between Israel and Palestinians in the West Bank escalated early last year when Israel expanded near-night raids into Palestinian areas in response to a series of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
Israel says most of those killed were militants, but young stone-throwers protesting the army raids and others not involved in the clashes were also killed.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem. The Palestinians seek these territories for the independent state they hope for.