In the midst of escalating tensions sparked by Israel’s bombing of the Gaza Strip, Israeli forces have reportedly shot and killed two Palestinian teenagers near Ramallah in the West Bank.
These tragic deaths further contribute to the toll of Palestinians killed in the recent wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence, which now stands at a minimum of 64 in the West Bank.
The conflict’s roots lie in a deadly attack by the Palestinian militant group Hamas, claiming the lives of at least 1,400 Israelis, predominantly civilians, on October 7.
Israel’s response to this attack includes a substantial ground assault preparation in the Gaza Strip, unleashing fierce bombardments in response.
This has resulted in the loss of more than 3,000 Palestinian lives and a comprehensive siege on the blockaded enclave controlled by Hamas, intensifying Palestinian resentment in the West Bank.
According to a statement from the Palestinian Authority’s health ministry, the Israeli forces fatally shot a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old in the village of Shuqba, west of Ramallah, during a protest in which the two teenagers were reportedly attempting to set fire to tires.
Israel’s defense forces have been approached for comment, and they stated that they are investigating the incident.
The intensification of Israel’s bombardment of Gaza has, in turn, exacerbated tensions in the West Bank, the other Palestinian territory under Israeli occupation.
Palestinian demonstrations have taken place in West Bank cities, following a deadly hospital explosion in Gaza, for which both Israel and Palestinian militants have traded accusations.
In a rare display of support for the militant group Hamas, which has a relatively limited presence in the West Bank, hundreds of young Palestinians marched, waving Palestinian flags and chanting slogans in favor of Hamas. Some voiced their readiness to resort to violence to oppose Israel’s assault.
The situation remains highly volatile, with Hamas reporting the death of one of its members in the West Bank, who was allegedly killed while attempting to throw an explosive device at Israeli security forces near the northern city of Nablus on Wednesday.