A Palestinian teenager has been shot dead in the southern West
Bank city of Hebron, after Israeli security forces stationed at a
checkpoint opened fire on him. Israeli news source Ynet described
the incident as an attempted "terror attack".
Maan News Agency, a Palestinian news website, said that Israeli
forces had shot the teenager in Hebron's Old City and have
identified him as Muhammad Ziad Awad Salaymah.
One Hebron resident said the
teenager was shot up to six times. 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.
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
After the shooting, dozens of
Palestinians began protesting in the Old City, with Israeli forces
used tear gas and live ammunition to quell the demonstrations.
"They have orders to shoot with live
bullets now," a resident of Hebron told Al Jazeera.
Israeli TV's Channel 7 reported that a senior Israeli military
commander in the West Bank said that "a soldier operating in the
field has the option to make the appropriate decision after
evaluating the situation and the amount of danger he and his
colleagues are facing, and that based on his personal evaluation,
he can resort to the use of live ammunition".
Elie Yishai, Israel's interior
minister and Shaul Mofaz, the head of the Kadima opposition party,
have recently demanded during a meeting of the Ministerial Council
that soldiers should be allowed to use maximum force against
threats from Palestinians, including live ammunition.
Israeli soldiers use rubber-coated
metal bullets, tear gas bombs and stun grenades against
non-violent protesters in the West Bank - in addition to spraying
them with water mixed with chemicals.
These tactics have led to the
injuries of hundreds and even several deaths among protesters.