JERUSALEM — Israeli forces killed a 17-year-old Palestinian man in the occupied West Bank on Thursday, Palestinian officials said, as troops operated in the area a day after an attack killed a military officer.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said 17-year-old Odai Salah was shot in the head, although the exact circumstances of his death were not immediately clear.
The Israeli military said forces were operating in the hometown of two Palestinian gunmen who killed the Israeli officer in a shootout on Wednesday and were later shot dead by Israeli soldiers. Troops prepared the gunmen’s homes for demolition and made arrests in the village of Kufr Dan, near the city of Jenin, a stronghold of the armed struggle against Israel. Israel says it demolishes attackers’ homes as a way to deter future violence, while critics say the tactic amounts to collective punishment.
Israel has carried out nightly arrest raids in West Bank towns and villages since a series of attacks on Israelis in the spring killed 19 people.
Israeli fire killed dozens of Palestinians during this period, making it the deadliest year in the occupied territory since 2016.
The Israeli army says the vast majority of those killed were militants or stone throwers who endangered soldiers. But several civilians have also been killed in the months-long Israeli operation, including a veteran journalist and a lawyer who apparently unwittingly traveled to a combat zone. Local youths who took to the streets in response to the invasion of their neighborhoods were also killed.
Israel rounded up dozens of Palestinians, detaining many of them without trial or charge in what is called administrative detention. Israel says it uses administrative detention to thwart attacks and detain dangerous activists without revealing sensitive information. Palestinians and rights groups say the system denies due process, with some detainees held for months or years without seeing the evidence against them.
Israel says the arrest raids are intended to dismantle militant networks and prevent future attacks. The Palestinians say the operations are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military occupation of territory they want for an independent state.
Israel captured the West Bank, along with East Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Middle East War and the Palestinians are seeking these territories for a future state.