WEST BANK, Palestinian Territories – Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager as he allegedly attempted to stab a border police officer at a checkpoint near Bethlehem as US President Donald Trump traveled to West Bank on Tuesday.
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The child was identified by the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency as 15-year-old Raed Ahmad Rdaydeh from the town of al-Ubeidiya, located six kilometres east of the city.
He is one of at least eight Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces or settlers so far this year, according to Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP).
Israeli news sites did not mention the child by name, but reported that the teenager was shot and killed at a checkpoint northeast of Bethlehem late on Monday.
Trump was visiting Jerusalem’s Old City, just a few miles (kilometres) away, at the time.
On Tuesday morning, Trump arrived in Bethlehem to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas amid soaring tensions over a 37-day mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel.
On Monday, more than 20 Palestinians were injured in the West Bank during clashes with Israeli forces as they protested in solidarity with the hunger-striking prisoners.
As Trump met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other Israeli officials on Monday, Palestinian businesses were closed as part of a general strike in solidarity with the prisoners throughout the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.
Palestinian media outlets estimate that 1,300 inmates are fasting in protest of poor prison conditions, while Israeli outlets place the number in the high hundreds.
Palestinian activists have called for a “Day of Rage” to coincide with Trump’s visit, the Al Jazeera reported.
The most recent round of negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority collapsed in 2014, and Israeli officials have continued to greenlight the expansion of Jewish-only settlements throughout the West Bank, chipping away at the territory that could potentially make up a Palestinian state.
More than 500,000 Israelis live in settlements, which are considered illegal under international law, in the West Bank, including East Jerusalem.