BY AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE – AFP
NABLUS, PALESTINE NOV 09, 2022 – daily sabah
One more Palestinian teenager was killed Wednesday in clashes with Israeli troops that erupted during a visit by right-wing politicians to a sensitive religious site in the occupied West Bank, multiple sources said.
The Palestinian health ministry said: “Mahdi Mohammad Hashash died of serious wounds caused by shrapnel that hit different parts of his body during the occupation’s incursion into Nablus,” the largest city in the northern West Bank.
The ministry said he was 15. It was not immediately clear if he was killed by an explosive he was allegedly carrying, or by Israeli fire.
The Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades, a wing of Palestinian President Mahmud Abbas’s secular Fatah movement, issued a statement claiming the minor as one of its members.
The Israeli military said troops were in the area to secure “the entrance of worshippers to Joseph’s Tomb,” believed to be the last resting place of the biblical patriarch Joseph and a flashpoint for West Bank violence.
A Jewish settler organization told the Agence France-Presse (AFP) that eight Israeli politicians – current lawmakers and others elected on Nov. 1 who have yet to be sworn in – were visiting Joseph’s Tomb.
The group included members of veteran hawk Benjamin Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party and allies from the extreme right Religious Zionism bloc.
A surge in support for the far right in last week’s general election sealed victory for Netanyahu over centrist incumbent Yair Lapid, setting him up to form what may be the most right-wing government in Israel’s history.
The Israeli army claimed “shots were heard” at the site and troops “shot toward a terrorist who placed a bomb in the area.”
“A hit was identified,” it added, without directly commenting on Hashash’s death.
The army declined to confirm that the troops were guarding lawmakers, identifying the group only as “worshippers.”
The Palestinian office of religious sites considers Joseph’s Tomb to be an Islamic archaeological monument.
The Israeli army organizes monthly escorted pilgrimages to the site but prohibits civilians from entering on their own.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said three people were also wounded in the clashes.
Israel has occupied the West Bank since 1967. This year is on track to be the deadliest in the territory since 2015.