CORRECTION: An earlier version of this article stated that Mohammad Awaidat-Balhan was 15 years old, however, after verifying the information, Jerusalem24 was able to confirm that he is 17.
Jerusalem24 – 17-year-old Mohammad Fayez Awaidat-Balhan was shot and killed by the Israeli army during a daytime invasion of the Aqbet Jaber refugee camp in the city of Jericho in the occupied West Bank this morning.
The Ministry of Health said Mohammad was shot with live ammunition in the chest, abdomen, and head, and two others were shot with live ammunition in the lower body. All injuries were transferred to Jericho Governmental Hospital.
Mohammad is the eighteenth Palestinian child to be shot and killed by the Israeli military in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in 2023.
The Israeli army arrested at least three Palestinians and surrounded at least two homes before withdrawing from the camp.
In an earlier statement, the Israeli army said that its forces were “operating in the camp” without giving further details.
Mohammad’s aunt told Palestine TV that Mohammad “had his future in front of him”.
“He was ambitious. We just had a family gathering yesterday, everyone was here, we were so content, and we stayed up past 12 AM. And now, we wake up to this news.”
Yediot Ahranoth reported the invasion came as a part of a manhunt after two Israeli settlers were shot and killed and a third injured in a shooting attack in the Jordan Valley last Friday, while other Israeli outlets claimed the invasion was unrelated to the attack.
Israeli forces and settlers have now shot and killed 96 Palestinians including 18 children in the occupied West Bank including East Jerusalem in 2023.