Ramallah: Israeli troops opened fire at Palestinian stone throwers today during West Bank arrest raids linked to a search for three missing Israeli teens, killing a 15-year-old Palestinian and seriously wounding three, officials said.
Today`s violence was a sign of the growing escalation in the West Bank as Israel`s search for the three Jewish seminary students entered its second week. Israel has alleged the three were abducted by the Islamic militant Hamas, but has offered no proof.
Over the past week, thousands of Israeli troops have searched hundreds of locations in the West Bank and arrested close to 300 Palestinians, many of them from the militant Hamas group.
The Israeli military said it conducted raids in four towns and refugee camps early today, detaining 25 suspects and searching about 200 locations. The army said nine institutions linked to Hamas were searched and materials were confiscated.
In one raid, in the town of Dura near Hebron, Palestinian youths threw stones at soldiers, drawing army fire. A hospital official said 15-year-old Mohammed Dodeen was killed by a bullet in the chest.
The army also opened fire during a raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp, where three Palestinians were seriously wounded, said an official at a hospital in the nearby city of Ramallah. He said one was in the intensive care unit and two were in serious condition.
Both hospital officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the media.
The army confirmed soldiers used life fire, saying troops were responding to life-threatening situations.
It said soldiers were engaged in sporadic confrontations during today`s raids. It said Palestinians threw home-made explosives, firebombs, fireworks and stones. In Qalandiya, a soldier was lightly hurt by a grenade thrown at troops, the army said.