Border Police officer shot and killed a Palestinian youth who threatened another officer near Hebron’s Cave of the Patriarchs on Wednesday, Channel 2 reported.
No Israelis were injured in the incident.
Initial investigations found that the Palestinian, 16, approached the guard post, drew what seemed to pistol, waved it and pointed it at one of the soldiers. The Border Police officer shot the man three times, killing him.
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the gun later turned out to be fake. An investigation has been launched into the incident.
Palestinians subsequently rioted in the vicinity and other areas around the city, and IDF troops attempted to quell the protests. There were no reports of injuries or arrests.There have been a numer of confrontations between Palestinians and IDF troops in the West Bank in recent days.
An altercation between IDF troops and stone-throwing Palestinians in the West Bank village of Nilin on Tuesday also escalated when rioters launched fireworks at the soldiers, then firebombed their jeeps.
According to Channel 2, the number of firebomb incidents in the West Bank has increased drastically since last month’s Operation Pillar of Defense.
Last week, IDF soldiers clashed with Palestinian policemen in Hebron after attempting to arrest a Palestinian security officer and entering the Palestinian-controlled sector of the city. A Palestinian mob then entered the melee with the soldiers. One soldier was punched in the face by a Palestinian policeman, and over 20 Palestinians were injured in the clashes, according to Palestinian news agency Ma’an.
Palestinian youths told Maariv on Wednesday that “if Israel tries to reinsert troops in our territory and give us trouble, we promise to return it to them.”
The youths said they were bolstered by the fact that “we have a Palestinian state and Palestinian police.”
The incident, coupled with a second clash in which IDF troops were filmed retreated under a hail of Palestinian bullets, set off a round of soul-searching within the army and the political arena.
In Hebron last week, the soldiers were forced to retreat into a butcher shop until they could fight their way out. The butcher who the store said the incident erupted when the soldiers entered the H-1 zone of the divided city without permission..
“They fought with the police and, afterwards, when the entire market started to rise up, they entered my shop and entrenched themselves here until help came,” Abed, the shop owner who also filmed the incident and published the footage on YouTube, told Maariv. ”They confiscated the knives with which we cut the meat and told us to leave the place until reinforcements arrived. They looked scared.”
It was not immediately clear why the soldiers attempted to arrest the policeman last week.
The city, home to the Cave of the Patriarchs, is a frequent flashpoint of settler-Palestinian tension. It is divided between the Palestinian controlled H-1 and Israeli controlled H-2.