İrem UZUN -TDO- A Palestinian teenager was shot dead by Israeli forces during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry announced. Mohammed Hamayel, 15, “died as a result of being shot in the face with live ammunition by the (Israeli) occupation” during clashes in Nablus in the northern West Bank, a ministry statement said. Tarif Ashour, a spokesperson for the health ministry, said 17 people were injured in the clashes and treated in hospital, with two in serious condition, the WAFA Palestinian news agency reported.

The Israeli military has said it was responding to a “violent riot” of about 500 Palestinians, many of whom reportedly threw rocks at troops and set tyres on fire. The military added that it was reviewing the incident. The clashes erupted against the backdrop of a tour by Israeli settlers to a fortress at an archaeological site near Nablus in Area B, a zone that up 22 percent of the West Bank, and is under Palestinian Authority civilian control and Israeli security control. According to the settlers, the fortress dates back to the Hasmonean era.

Once local Palestinian residents were informed about the settlers' intention to hold the tour, they erected a protest tent at the site on Tuesday, with some 300 Palestinians gathering there.  According to one resident of the West Bank village of Beta, Israeli troops arrived at the site at 5:30 am on Wednesday and removed the Palestinians rallying there with tear gas and live fire. He added that the skirmishes continued during the entire tour.

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