Israeli troops kill Palestinian youth in West Bank

HEBRON, West Bank Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:03pm EST

HEBRON, West Bank (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron after the youth threatened them with what appeared to be a pistol, but which may not have been a real weapon, a police spokesman said.

Violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the territory captured by Israel in a 1967 war has been on the rise in past weeks after a long period of calm. Two other Palestinians have been killed there in clashes with Israelis in the past month.

The latest confrontation erupted in a city known for its high tension between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.

Micky Rosenfeld, a spokesman for Israeli police, said that "a Palestinian pulled a pistol in front of border police on patrol in Hebron" near a flashpoint holy site after darkness fell. "Police opened fire at him, critically injuring him. He was later pronounced dead at the scene," Rosenfeld said.

Palestinian medical officials said the youth was 17.

Rosenfeld said an initial investigation indicated "he pulled a fake pistol. They (troops at the scene) thought it was real ... it's not clear why he did that."

(Additional reporting by Yusri al-Jamal in Hebron, Ali Sawafta and Noah Browning in Ramallah, Jihan Abdalla in Jerusalem, Writing by Allyn Fisher-Ilan; Editing by Mark Heinrich)