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West Bank: Israeli forces kill Palestinian teenager in Nablus amid rising settler violence

The Palestinian health ministry says Gaith Yamin, 16, died of a bullet to the head 
Gaith Yamin, 16, was fatally shot in the head by Israeli forces on 25 May 2022 (Twitter)

Israeli forces shot and killed a 16-year-old Palestinian on Wednesday in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The ministry identified the teen as Gaith Yamin, who it said was shot in the head in the vicinity of Joseph's Tomb.

Israeli settlers, protected by soldiers, arrived at the tomb early on Wednesday and were confronted by Palestinian residents who object to their presence in the city.

The Israeli army violently dispersed the Palestinian crowds, firing live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets and teargas. 

At least 80 Palestinians were wounded, according to Palestinian medics. Most of the injuries were caused by rubber-coated steel bullets.

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The Israeli army said it responded with live fire to hundreds of Palestinians who hurled rocks and petrol bombs at soldiers while they escorted settlers to Joseph's Tomb. 

The shrine, revered by Muslims and Jews, is a regular flashpoint between Palestinians and Israelis. 

The Palestinian education ministry condemned the killing in a statement and stressed the need "to deter the occupation and hold it accountable for its heinous crimes".

Israeli forces have killed more than 50 Palestinians in the occupied West Bank this year, including many teenagers and prominent journalist Shireen Abu Akleh.

On Saturday, Amjad al-Fayed, 17, was killed by Israeli forces during a raid in Jenin. 

Settler attacks 

The killing of Yamin comes amid a wave of settler violence against Palestinians in Nablus, located in the northern region of the West Bank.

On Tuesday night, several attacks on Palestinian civilians and properties were reported by local media in the towns of Huwara, Burqa, Urif and Burin. 

At least six people were injured and damage was recorded to vehicles and shops, according to the Palestinian news website Arab48.  

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Settler violence across the West Bank has seen an “alarming” rise since 2021, according to United Nations experts. 

Some 370 settler attacks that led to damage to property were recorded in 2021 and a further 126 assaults caused casualties. 

Violence carried out by settlers includes the use of live fire, physical assaults, arson attacks and uprooting of olive trees. 

This year, more than 541 injuries to Palestinians caused by settlers were documented so far, of which 217 were in Nablus alone.

Around 16 of those injuries were caused by live ammunition. At least one Palestinian was killed by an Israeli settler this year.

There are more than 600,000 settlers who live in over 200 settlements across the West Bank and East Jerusalem, in breach of international law.

Reuters contributed to this report.

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