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Israel kills Palestinian ‘attacker’ ahead of Trump trip

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Named by local media as Raed Ahmad Rdaydeh, 15-year-old allegedly attempted to stab border officer at checkpoint.

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian teenager as he allegedly attempted to stab a border police officer at a checkpoint near Bethlehem, on the eve of US President Donald Trump’s visit to the city on Tuesday.

The child was identified by the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency as 15-year-old Raed Ahmad Rdaydeh from the town of al-Ubeidiya, located six kilometres east of the city.

According to Defence for Children International – Palestine (DCIP), the boy is one of at least eight Palestinian children killed by Israeli forces or settlers so far this year.

Israeli news sites did not mention the child by name, but reported that the teenager was shot and killed at a checkpoint northeast of Bethlehem late on Monday.

Speaking to Al Jazeera by telephone, Israeli police spokesperson Micky Rosenfeld confirmed the incident saying that the teen, whose name he did not confirm, was “neutralised”.

On Tuesday morning, Trump arrived in Bethlehem to meet Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas amid soaring tensions over a 37-day mass hunger strike by Palestinian prisoners jailed by Israel.

Ayed Abu Eqtaish, accountability programme director at DCIP, said that Trump’s visit to Bethlehem will not yield anything positive for Palestinians unless the US president urges Israel “to abide by international law”.

“Every day, there are violations against the Palestinian rights,” said Abu Eqtaish. “What’s important here is that the Americans and the UN could pressure [Israel] to change its behaviour.”

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