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Israeli troops "mistakenly" kill Palestinian teen in car

JERUSALEM -- Israeli troops shot and killed a 14-year-old Palestinian boy early on Tuesday and wounded four others, a Palestinian official said.

Wajih Ahmad, head of the Beit Ur al-Tahta local council in the West Bank, said the teen, Mahmoud Badran, was killed when the car he was traveling in was fired upon by an Israeli military patrol. The hospital in the West Bank city of Ramallah said another person was moderately wounded and three others were lightly wounded.

Israeli's military and media said the shooting was aimed at rioters at the scene of a rock-hurling incident toward Israeli vehicles on a busy road. Three were wounded in that attack. Reports suggested the assailants may also have been throwing Molotov cocktails at the vehicles.

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"After an initial inquiry, it appears that uninvolved bystanders were mistakenly hit during the pursuit," a military spokeswoman said, according to the Reuters news agency, adding that the military had opened an investigation into the incident. The spokeswoman told Reuters the Palestinian boy was one of the "bystanders" mistakenly hit.

Over the last nine months, Palestinians have carried out dozens of attacks, including stabbings, shootings and car ramming assaults, which have killed 32 Israelis and two Americans. About 200 Palestinians have been killed during that time. Israel has identified most of them as attackers while the rest died in clashes with Israeli troops.

The assaults were once near-daily incidents but they have become less frequent in recent weeks.

Mohamad, the father of Palestinian assailant Bashar Masalha, looks at his damaged house after it was partially demolished by Israeli forces, in the West Bank village of Hajja near Qalqilya, June 21, 2016. REUTERS

Also Tuesday, the Israeli military demolished the home of a Palestinian who stabbed to death an American tourist and war veteran in an attack earlier this year.

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The troops entered the West Bank village of Hajjah to knock down the residence of Bashar Masalha. In March, he killed Taylor Force and wounded 10 others in a stabbing attack on a Tel Aviv beachfront promenade.

Force was a Vanderbilt University graduate student visiting Israel during a school trip. He previously graduated from West Point and served tours of duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Masalha was killed by police after the attack.

Israel says it carries out housing demolitions to deter future attacks. The Palestinians consider it a form of collective punishment.­

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