Two Palestinians shot dead in Israeli search operation for missing teens

A Palestinian teenager, 15, was shot dead by IDF forces during rioting in the West Bank village of Dura early on Friday. The hospital in Hebron said that the youth, Jihad Mohammed Dodin, was killed by gunshot wounds to his chest. A preliminary investigation of the incident showed that a paratrooper company commander encountered severe public disturbances and crowd control measures were of no avail. He then ordered the use of live fire.

Another Palestinian, aged 22, was critically hurt by IDF gunfire in clashes near the Qalandiyah checkpoint. He was transferred to the government hospital in Ramallah and later to the intensive care unit at Hadassah hospital in Jerusalem, but died of his wounds, according to Palestinian sources.

Starting mid-day on Friday, large IDF forces swept through areas north of Hebron, in search of three Israeli teenagers, kidnapped Thursday from the Gush Etzion Junction in the West Bank. The area  north of Hebron was declared a closed military zone.

On Friday night Israeli troops arrested at least 10 Palestinians in the West Bank. Forces raided 15 charities and 146 homes. The closed military zone decree for the area north of Hebron remained in effect. Palestinian sources reported 37 arrests, 20 of them in Bethlehem, 11 in Hebron, 3 in Jenin and 3 in Jericho.

The IDF arrested a total of 25 Palestinians, including arrests at the Deheishe refugee camp by the Nachal Brigade, by the paratrooper brigade in Dura and by the Kfir Brigade in villages north of Ramallah. That brought the total number of arrests made since the kidnapping to 355.

Following the firing of two rockets into Israel on Thursday night, the air force attacked two launchers in the northern Gaza Strip, as well a ‘center of terrorist activity’ in the center and a warehouse in the southern part of the Strip. Gaza sources reported six light injuries, including four children. These sources also reported damage to civilian warehouses.

On Friday morning a rocket exploded near a road in the Hof Ashkelon local authority. There were no injuries and only slight damage to the road.

Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and Chief of Staff Benny Ganz visited special police force units and units of the General Staff’s reconnaissance unit, Sayeret Matkal on Friday. Ya’alon said that the working hypothesis was that the abducted teens were still alive, until proven otherwise. “We’ve started to extract a steep price from Hamas in Judea and Samaria, much more painful than aerial attacks. We’re causing serious damage to their civilian infrastructure. We won’t cease until we assess that we’ve maximized our gains.”

The two also visited a training facility at Central Command, and Ya’alon said there that the army’s operations would continue even after the abductors are found and the teens released. Gantz added that, “we have been operating for a week, mainly trying to locate the kidnappers and their victims, but also trying to damage Hamas, which we see as being behind this incident. The operation will continue as long as it has to.”

Three Jewish minors were detained by the Judea and Samaria police for throwing rocks and a fire bomb at a Palestinian car. One of the three attends the same seminary as two of the kidnaped youths. The three confessed to the deed.