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RAMALLAH: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian the army accused of throwing Molotov cocktails near the occupied West Bank city of Bethlehem late Monday, Palestinian officials said.

Zakaria Mohammed al-Zaoul, 20, was “martyred by live occupation (Israeli) bullets to the head, in the town of Husan”, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The Israeli military said troops were “on routine activity” in the city, south of Jerusalem, when “a suspect hurled Molotov cocktails” at them.

“The soldiers responded with live fire. A hit was identified,” the statement added.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported the military used live fire, tear gas and stun grenades against young Palestinians.

Zaoul’s death was the latest in a surge of violence, which has killed at least 165 Palestinians, 21 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian this year.

The tally compiled from official sources includes combatants as well as civilians and, on the Israeli side, three members of the Arab minority.

Israel has occupied the occupied West Bank since 1967 and its armed forces routinely carry out patrols and raids in Palestinian towns and cities.

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