The Israeli army said in a statement that two Palestinian men tried to drive a car into soldiers at Sebastia near the city of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, around midnight, but the claim could not be verified. Soldiers opened fire, killing one and wounding the other.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health identified the young man killed as Fawzi Hani, 18. Palestinian media quoted the victims’ family as saying the two did not target soldiers but that they were ambushed while driving and their car was riddled with bullets.
Local media reported that Hani had just passed his high school exams and was in good spirits before the shooting.
The shooting came hours after a 17 year old Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire elsewhere in the West Bank.
The spiral of violence, which shows no signs of abating, is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in years. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press.
Violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank intensified early last year when Israel expanded near-nightly raids into Palestinian areas in response to a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.
Israel says most of those killed have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting army raids and others not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.