Jerusalem, Mar 11, 2020 / 05:01 pm (CNA).- Mohammed Hamayal, a 15-year-old Palestinian boy, was shot and killed by Israeli troops Wednesday during a clash in the West Bank.
He was killed during a March 11 Palestinian protest of Israeli settlers near Beita, some 40 miles north of Jerusalem.
According to Israel, 500 Palestinians were rioting, setting tires on fire and throwing rocks at its security forces.
In response to the rock throwing, Israeli soldiers fired live ammunition, rubber bullets, and tear gas, a witness told the BBC.
According to Palestinian officials, another 17 people were injured in the clash.
The Israeli army said that “we are aware of a report regarding a killed Palestinian and several injured. The incident will be reviewed.”
Israeli settlers have been trying to gain control of a hill in the Beita area, according to Palestinians.
Beita residents have held daily sit-ins on the hill since Feb. 28, “when settlers made the first attempt to seize the mountain and turn it into an Israeli religious tourist route,” Wafa, a Palestinian news agency, reported.
Some 600,000 Israeli Jews live in about 140 settlements in the West Bank, according to the BBC. Under international law, the settlements are generally considered illegal, though Israel disputes this.
Israel has in recent years been building a security wall through Palestinian land in the West Bank believed to be linked to the protection of the settlers.
In January US president Donald Trump and Israeli president Benjamin Netanyahu proposed a two-state peace plan for Israel and Palestine, which was rejected by the state of Palestine.
The US bishops have encouraged Israel and Palestine to “negotiate directly” with each other and to agree on a common resolution for peace.
“Intrinsic to a fruitful discussion is the necessity that each state recognizes and supports the legitimacy of each other,” Bishop David Malloy of Rockford, chairman of the USCCB Committee on International Justice and Peace, said in a Feb. 3 letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump and Netanyahu unveiled their plan Jan. 28, which includes an independent Palestinian state with a capital in East Jerusalem.
Despite this, Trump insisted that Jerusalem would also remain “Israel’s undivided— very important— undivided capital.” The United States moved its embassy in Israel to Jerusalem in 2017.
A group of bishops from the United States and Europe visiting the Holy Land in January called on their countries’ governments to acknowledge the state of Palestine and to apply international law in Israel and the surrounding area in order to promote peace and justice.
“Our governments must do more to meet their responsibilities for upholding international law and protecting human dignity. In some cases they have become actively complicit in the evils of conflict and occupation,” the bishops said Jan. 16.
The bishops said it was “painfully clear” that living conditions for the people of the Holy Land are worsening, particularly “in the West Bank where our sisters and brothers are denied even basic rights including freedom of movement.”
The visiting bishops said that local bishops warn “that people are facing further ‘evaporation of hope for a durable solution’.” They added: “We have witnessed this reality first-hand, particularly how construction of settlements and the separation wall is destroying any prospect of two states existing in peace.”
The bishops encouraged their own countries’ governments to find political solutions to the conflicts in the Holy Land, including: “insisting upon the application of international law; following the Holy See’s lead in recognizing the State of Palestine, addressing the security concerns of Israel and the right of all to live in safety, rejecting political or economic support for settlements, and resolutely opposing acts of violence or abuses of human rights by any side.”
The Vatican recognized the state of Palestine in May 2015.