Palestinians: Teen killed in Israeli army raid in West Bank

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Hamza al-Ashqar, 17, during his funeral in the Askar refugee camp near the West Bank city of Nablus, Tuesday, Feb. 7, 2023. (AP Photo/Majdi Mohammed)

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Palestinian Health Ministry said Tuesday that Israeli troops killed a Palestinian teenager in an army raid in the occupied West Bank.

He was the latest casualty in what is already one of the most violent periods in the West Bank in recent years.

The ministry said 17-year-old Hamza al-Ashqar died of a gunshot wound to the head in the West Bank city of Nablus, but provided no additional details about the incident.

The Israeli military said it carried out raids across the West Bank, including in the city of Nablus. It said troops came under attack there, and that soldiers fired at an armed Palestinian who shot at them.

The incident came a day after Israeli forces killed five Palestinian gunmen linked to the Islamic militant Hamas group in a raid on refugee camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Israeli army has staged almost nightly raids across Palestinian towns in the occupied West Bank since a series of deadly attacks in Israel last spring. The Palestinian Authority declared it would cease security coordination with Israel after 10 Palestinians were killed in a raid last month.

Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed last year in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, making it the deadliest year in those areas since 2004, according to figures by the Israeli rights group B’Tselem. Since the start of this year, 42 Palestinians have been killed in those territories. Palestinian attacks against Israelis killed some 30 people in 2022.

The Israeli army says most of the Palestinians killed have been militants. But stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in confrontations have also been killed.

Israel captured the West Bank, Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.