An Israeli settler shot and killed a Palestinian teenager Saturday morning on Hebron’s Shuhada Street in the occupied West Bank, locals said.
A resident of the area, Mufeed Sharabati, said the settler shot the boy near the illegal Israeli settlement outpost Beit Haddassah. The boy laid motionless on the ground as Israeli soldiers tried to resuscitate him.
Sharabati added that “paramedics of the Palestinian Red Crescent arrived but Israeli soldiers didn’t allow them to access the young man. The soldiers then covered the young man’s face then took him in an ambulance to unknown destination.”
He added that he saw settlers “distributing candies” following the death.
An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an new agency that a Palestinian had tried to stab the Israeli settler when the settler “opened live fire on the assailant,” killing him. No injuries were reported.
The teenager was identified as Fadil Qawasmi, 18. His death came less than two hours before a 16-year-old Palestinian was shot dead in occupied East Jerusalem, also for attempting an attack.
Shuhada Street, where the Hebron attack took place, is at the heart of tensions in the area’s Old City where Israeli forces have severely restricted Palestinian access since 1994.
Local Palestinians are prevented from accessing the street in order to “secure” the area for around 600 Jewish settlers who have taken over homes and evicted residents in the area. The few Palestinian residents left must access homes from the back.
Palestinians may only access the street by passing through an Israeli military checkpoint with a metal detector, raising suspicions among locals as to whether Qawasmi could have been carrying a knife at the time of the alleged attack.
In the last two weeks, two Palestinians were shot dead after carrying out attacks on Israeli forces in the illegal settlement of Kiryat Arba. An Israeli police officer and a soldier were wounded in the attacks.
Israeli settlers have carried out reprisal attacks on locals and their property, often in the presence of armed Israeli forces.
Earlier this week Israeli forces raided homes in Hebron belonging to the families of three Palestinians killed after carrying out alleged attacks.
The raids came as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called for punitive demolitions of the family homes of suspected attackers, despite warnings by rights groups that the practice is illegal, displacing innocent people for crimes have have not committed.
Qawasmi was the 38th Palestinian to be killed since the start of the month in Israel and occupied Palestinian territory, while seven Israelis have been killed by Palestinians in the same time period.