Palestinian officials identified him as Mahdi Hash, 15, and said he was killed by shrapnel during an Israeli raid. A branch of the militant Palestinian group Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade called the teenager “our martyr”.
The military said it was protecting civilians visiting the site known to Jews as the Biblical Joseph’s Tomb. The army said shots were heard in the area and the army returned fire, including at the person with the explosive.
It was not immediately clear whether the raid was related to a visit Tuesday evening by eight Knesset members, incoming lawmakers and allies of former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahuwho won last week’s national elections.
Eight members of Netanyahu’s Likud party and his right-wing allies said in a statement they had visited each other after dark.
The clash came during one of the deadliest years on both sides of the conflict, including after last week’s national elections. Former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was victorious, with the support of a far-right ultra-nationalist party.
Palestinian attackers have killed at least 24 people in Israel since the beginning of 2022. The intensification of Israeli-Palestinian fighting in the West Bank and East Jerusalem has also killed about 130 Palestinians this year, which is the deadliest since 2006, according to Israeli human rights group B.” Tselem.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East War and has maintained military occupation over the area ever since, and more than 500,000 people have settled there.
The Palestinians are seeking the area, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, for a future independent state.
Some Jews believe that the biblical Joseph was buried in the tomb of Nablus, while Muslims say a sheik was buried there. The military escorts Jewish believers to the site known to Jews as Joseph’s Tomb several times a year, in conjunction with Palestinian security forces.
As Israeli-Palestinian violence flares up this year, the site has once again become a flashpoint.
In April, some 100 Palestinians marched to and set fire to Joseph’s grave before being dispersed by Palestinian security forces. Images on social media showed that parts of the tomb in the sanctuary had been vandalized and charred.
Earlier this month, the Israeli military said troops escorting Jewish worshipers to the shrine came under fire and then returned fire. An 18-year-old Palestinian man was killed in the violence.