The Palestinian health ministry has confirmed the death of a 14-year-old Palestinian boy who was shot and killed by Israeli forced in the West Bank town of Bethlehem on Friday. The family of the victim stated that the boy was walking to his grandparents’ house when he was shot. The victim, Zaid Saeed Ghuneim, was shot several times in the legs, back, and neck after attempting to hide from the Israeli forces in a garage. The Israeli military confirmed that several soldiers in the Al-Khader areas of Bethlehem were conducting routine security activity. The forces claim that suspects threw rocks and Molotov cocktails at the soldiers, forcing them to take action.
The death of the young boy has saddened and shocked the community. The Israeli soldiers’ decision to respond with live fire left another suspect injured. The incident remains under review, however, it does not name Zaid Saeed Ghuneim as a suspect or being involved in the altercation. This marks the second killing of a Palestinian minor by Israeli forces in just one week as tensions continue to rise between Israel and Palestine. In March, a series of attacks conducted by Palestinians killed 19 Israelis, prompting the military to launch Operation Breakwater. The operation consists of nearly daily raids across the West Bank to arrest suspects. The Palestinian ministry of health claims that 55 Palestinians have died as a result of the operation thus far.