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One Palestinian Dead in Clashes with IDF After Arson Attack Kills Infant

The violence and demonstrations mark the most tumultuous period in months in the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories.
Palestinians carry the body of Laith al-Khaldi, 17, during his funeral in the Jalazoun refugee camp, West Bank, on August 1, 2015. Ate Safadi/EPA

Demonstrations erupted Saturday in the West Bank and East Jerusalem to protest a firebombing that killed a Palestinian infant, as the Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories experienced the most tumultuous days in months.

Also Saturday, a Palestinian teenager died of wounds suffered on Friday near Ramallah when Israeli troops shot him during protests against the arson attack.

Laith al-Khaldi died early Saturday morning and hundreds of Palestinians attended his funeral later in the day at the Jalazoun refugee camp in the  West Bank.


A spokesperson for the Israeli Defense Forces told the Palestinian news agency Ma'an the teenager had lobbed a Molotov cocktail in the soldiers' direction, but his family said they doubted the veracity of that report.

Map via Haaretz

The firebombing of the Dawabsha family's home in the West Bank village of Douma left 18-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha dead and the family's home charred. The child's mother and 4-year-old brother are in critical condition at a hospital in Tel Aviv, while the father is being treated for third-degree burns at a hospital in southern Israel, according to AFP.

The arson attack is suspected to be the work of Jewish extremists. According to the New York Times, the word "Revenge!" was found scrawled in Hebrew above a star of David on a wall near the burned house. In a rare moment of agreement, both Israeli and Palestinian officials have characterized the arson attack as a terrorist act.

More than 200 protesters marched near the village of Douma, where the arson took place, on Saturday; there were reports of demonstrations in the West Bank village of Kadum, the Israeli-Arab town of Umm al-Fahm, and near the West Bank settlement of Esh Kedosh also on Saturday.

Al-Khaldi is the sixth Palestinian to be fatally shot by Israeli forces in less than a month.

Earlier on Friday, Israeli soldiers shot and killed another 17-year-old, Mohammed al-Masri, in a northern part of the Gaza Strip. An IDF spokeswoman told Reuters the teenager was part of a group that threw stones at a fence that separates the territory and Israel, adding that the soldiers fired warning shots in the air before firing at the 'suspects' lower extremities."


Related: Palestinian Baby Burnt to Death in Suspected 'Jewish Terror' Attack

Four days before Friday's shootings, 18-year-old Mohammad Atta Lafi Abu Latifa was shot as he ran away from Israeli police officers attempting to arrest him in the camp where he lived. An Israeli police spokesman told the New York Times the teenager was a "wanted terrorist" who was, with a second suspect, planning "an attack against Israel."

Fifty-three-year-old Falah Abu Marya was shot and killed after he threw objects at Israeli soldiers who were searching for another man in the West Bank village of Beit Ommar on July 23. One day earlier, 20-year-old Mohammad Alawna was shot by Israeli forces conducting an arrest raid in Burkin; an IDF spokeswoman said Israeli forces opened fire on Alawna and other demonstrators when they refused to stop throwing stones at the troops.

The first in the recent spate of shootings took place on July 3, during the largest-scale arrest of Hamas members in several years. Seventeen-year-old Muhammad Hani al-Kasba was shot by Israeli soldiers during the raid, in which over a hundred Hamas members were arrested Palestinian Authority security forces. Al-Kasba was part of a group of teenagers throwing stones at an IDF vehicle at the time of the arrests.

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