Palestinian child shot dead by Israeli soldiers in West Bank dies of wounds

JERUSALEM (AP) — A 3-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot dead by Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank last week has died of his injuries, Israeli hospital officials said Monday.

Mohammed al-Tamimi was shot in the head last Thursday near his village of Nebi Saleh while driving with his father. He was airlifted to Israel’s Sheba Hospital, which announced the boy’s death.

The Israeli army said it opened fire after gunmen in the area fired at an Israeli guard post in a nearby Jewish settlement.

But the boy’s father, Haitham al-Tamimi, told The Associated Press he had just strapped his son in the car and they were driving to visit an uncle when the bullet hit. The father was also shot and treated in a Palestinian hospital.

The Israeli army has opened an investigation into the incident.

Rights groups, however, say such investigations rarely lead to prosecution or disciplinary action against soldiers.

The shooting is the latest bloodshed in an outbreak of violence that has lasted for more than a year in the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. This fighting has resumed since the new far-right Israeli government took office in late December.

Nearly 120 Palestinians have been killed in the two regions this year, nearly half of whom were members of armed militant groups, according to an AP tally. The military says the number of militants is much higher. But young stone throwers and people not involved in the violence were also killed.

Meanwhile, Palestinian attacks targeting Israelis in these areas have killed at least 21 people.

Israel captured the West Bank and East Jerusalem, as well as the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East war. Palestinians seek these territories for a future state.

Some 700,000 Israelis now live in settlements in the West Bank and East Jerusalem. Most of the international community views these settlements as illegal or as obstacles to peace.

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