Israeli Soldiers Killed a 12-Year-Old Palestinian Boy During Clashes In Central West Bank

A 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed on Tuesday during a clash with Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank on the outskirts of Arab East Jerusalem, the Palestinian health ministry said, according to Reuters.

Muhey al-Tabakhi, 12, died in a Palestinian hospital of a wound inflicted by a projectile that struck his chest and caused heart failure, a ministry spokesman said.

The Palestinian child, who was pronounced dead on arrival at the Palestine Medical Center, was identified by the Palestinian Ministry of Health as 12-year-old Muhye Muhammad Sidqi al-Tabbakhi.

An Israeli police spokeswoman said paramilitary Border Police officers used only tear gas and stun grenades in the clash at al-Ram after a petrol bomb was thrown at forces and that initial details at hand suggested there had been no firing.

Since October, Palestinian street attacks have killed at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans. Israel has killed at least 204 Palestinians, 138 of whom it said were assailants. Others were killed during clashes and protests.

Palestinian stabbings, shootings, rock throwing and car rammings against Israelis that began late last year and included almost daily incidents have tapered off significantly and attacks have become less frequent.

Palestinian leaders say attackers have acted out of desperation over the collapse of peace talks in 2014 and Israeli settlement expansion in occupied territory that Palestinians seek for an independent state. Most countries view the settlements as illegal. Israel disputes this.

Israel says incitement in the Palestinian media and personal problems at home have been important factors that have spurred assailants, often teenagers, to launch attacks.

Tensions over Jewish access to Al-Aqsa Mosque complex in Jerusalem have also fueled the violence.

Israeli forces have come under repeated criticism for excessive use of force, as well as lethal methods of crowd control that often result in death or injury of protesters.

In March, Defense for Children International’s Palestine branch (DCIP) estimated that at least 41 Palestinian children had been killed by Israelis since October when a wave of unrest began spreading across the occupied Palestinian territory and Israel.

DCIP’s report added that Israeli authorities had yet to open “full and transparent investigations” into any of the deaths, and reportedly refused a number of autopsy requests from children’s families, criticizing what it called Israel’s “shoot-to-kill” policy against Palestinian children.

Although a number of those killed have been under the age of 14, Muhye is one of the youngest Palestinians to have been shot dead by Israeli forces.