Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian youth in the West Bank, a Palestinian medic said, as confrontations went into a third day after the death of a prisoner held by Israel provoked street clashes and rocket fire.
Medical staff said troops brought the body of 17-year-old Amer Nassar from the village of Anabta to a hospital near Tulkarm, in the northern part of the occupied West Bank.
The Israeli army said troops fired on Palestinians who threw fire bombs at a guard post in the area after dark on Wednesday, but did not confirm the teenager was killed by them. It appeared to be the first violent death since trouble began on Tuesday.
With new U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry due to visit Jerusalem and Ramallah next week in hope of seeing progress toward peace negotiations, Tuesday’s death in prison from cancer of 64-year-old Palestinian Maysara Abu Hamdeya has stirred widespread anger among Palestinians in both the West Bank and Gaza Strip.
Abu Hamdeya was serving a life term for a planned attack on a Jerusalem cafe in 2002.
In the southern West Bank city of Hebron, where Abu Hamdeya is to be buried on Thursday, Israeli forces clashed with dozens of Palestinian protesters on Wednesday, firing teargas and rubber bullets at men throwing stones and petrol bombs.
Israeli jets carried out their first air strike on the Gaza Strip since a truce ended several days of fighting in November.
The military said it was responding to rockets fired on Tuesday by an Islamist group. The group fired two more rockets on Wednesday and said it was responding to the death of Abu Hamdeya.
Palestinians say he had been denied proper medical care. Israel has denied negligence in Abu Hamdeya’s treatment.
Israeli officials pressed Gaza’s ruling Islamist movement, Hamas, to rein in the rocket-firing militants after the most serious outbreak of cross-border hostilities since the ceasefire that ended the eight-day war in November.
Some 4,600 Palestinian prisoners declared a hunger strike for three days in protest at Abu Hamdeya’s death. Food trays were returned untouched on Wednesday, an Israeli prisons official said. In West Bank towns, some shops were shuttered in solidarity.