Hundreds of Palestinians were wounded on Wednesday and Thursday by Israeli occupation forces as clashes erupted in several suburbs of occupied east Jerusalem after a Palestinian boy was found dead on Wednesday morning, Al-Alam Online news website reported.
Witnesses described how Israeli settlers kidnapped 17-year-old Mohamed Abu Khudair while he was on his way to the mosque for the day’s first prayer at dawn on Wednesday. His body was later found dead and burned.
In the wake of the killing, clashes erupted between Palestinian youths and Israeli occupation forces in Shuafat, the neighbourhood where the boy was found dead, as well as in other areas of occupied east Jerusalem.
Palestinian youths hurled stones at Israeli occupation forces, who responded by firing tear gas and metal bullets coated with rubber.
Most of the casualties were light and treated in the field. Israeli forces announced Shuafat a closed military zone as clashes continued for the second day.
Palestinian witnesses identified that Abu Khudair’s kidnappers were Israeli settlers. They said they tried to chase the car that drove the Palestinian boy away from the area.
Meanwhile, the Israeli military’s operation in the occupied West Bank continued. Israeli forces broke into dozens of Palestinian facilities, including residential buildings, factories and charities. They arrested 12 Palestinians, including several former prisoners.
In Gaza, Israeli warplanes carried out several airstrikes in empty areas it claimed were housing Palestinian homemade rockets. Eleven casualties were reported.
On Thursday, the Associated Press quoted Israeli officials as saying that occupation forces have begun moving troops towards the border with Gaza, “raising the possibility of an expanded military operation” in the already besieged enclave.