Israeli troops kill Palestinian teenager in West Bank

JERUSALEM Wed Mar 19, 2014 10:30am EDT

Relatives of Palestinian youth Youssef Shawamra mourn outside his house in the West Bank village of Deir al-Asal near Hebron March 19, 2014. REUTERS/Ammar Awad

Relatives of Palestinian youth Youssef Shawamra mourn outside his house in the West Bank village of Deir al-Asal near Hebron March 19, 2014.

Credit: Reuters/Ammar Awad

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JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian teenager on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank, the Israeli military said, in the latest killing to overshadow U.S.-brokered peace talks.

The family of Youssef Shawamra said he was killed after he went foraging for wild thistles used in local cooking. Hospital officials said he was 15, while one relative said he was 16.

A military spokeswoman said he was shot after he and two other youths were spotted tampering with a security fence near the village of Deir al-Asal al-Tahta. She said soldiers had called on them to stop and had fired warning shots in the air.

"After all means were exhausted, the soldiers shot toward the main suspect, at his lower body, and a hit was identified. An Israeli medical team took him to an Israeli hospital where he died of his wounds," the spokeswoman said.

Angry locals contested the army version.

"He did not go out ... to resist the occupation or anything like that. He went to look for a source of income," said his cousin, Nafez Shawamra, accusing Israeli soldiers of killing him in cold blood.

The boy's grandfather said Youssef had been with an elderly man planning to collect almonds beyond the wire security fence and two youths. They were all arrested, he added.

The separation barrier cuts through much of the West Bank. The Israelis say it is needed to prevent suicide attacks, while Palestinians say it has eaten up large parts of territory they want for a future state, dividing them from their land.

PEACE TALKS

Palestinian officials say Israeli forces have killed 57 Palestinians and injured almost 900 since the resumption of peace talks last July. They accuse Israel of deliberately stirring up tensions.

Hanan Ashrawi, a senior member of the Palestine Liberation Organization, denounced Shawamra's death as an "extra-judicial killing", saying it was part of a broader pattern of "flagrant violations" of international law.

"It has become evident that Israel has done everything possible to destroy the ongoing negotiations and to provoke violence and extremism throughout the region," she said.

Last month, Amnesty International published a report which said Israeli forces had used excessive violence in the West Bank, killing dozens of Palestinians over the past three years in what might constitute a war crime.

Israel dismissed the report, saying the human rights group had revealed a "complete lack of understanding" of the difficulties soldiers faced in the West Bank.

In a separate development on Wednesday, Israel's Jerusalem municipality approved plans for 184 new homes in two Jewish settlements on land seized by Israel in the 1967 war.

An Israeli government report this month said construction starts on new settler homes had more than doubled last year.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta and Maayan Lubell; editing by Crispian Balmer and Andrew Roche)

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Comments (2)
hi53241 wrote:
“THE BOY’S GRANDFATHER SAID Youssef had been with an elderly man planning to collect almonds BEYOND THE WIRE SECURITY FENCE and two youths.”

“A military spokeswoman said he was shot after he and two other youths were spotted tampering with a security fence near the village of Deir al-Asal al-Tahta.”

It’s not that difficult to figure out. Given how “tampering with a security fence” is going to be interpreted by Israelis (based on past cases of Palestinian terrorism), just stay away from the security fence.

Mar 19, 2014 10:49am EDT  --  Report as abuse
Theodor Herzl’s Jewish utopia is not working out as advertised. The Holocaust-guilt-ridden West created a monster; and that traumatized monster is out of control.

Time for boycotts, divestment and sanctions against the nuclear-scofflaw and apartheid Jewish state in Palestine… that’s the only option that strikes fear into the hearts of these Jewish supremacists.

Mar 19, 2014 12:02pm EDT  --  Report as abuse
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