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Palestinian killed by Israeli fire in West Bank clash: ministry

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Ramallah (Palestinian Territories) (AFP)

A Palestinian volunteer medic was killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Sajid Muzher, 17, was killed in the Dheisheh refugee camp near Bethlehem in the southern West Bank, the ministry said.

He was shot by Israeli forces while working as a volunteer medic, a ministry spokesman told AFP.

The Israeli army did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In a statement, Palestinian health minister Jawad Awad said the "occupation's killing of a volunteer medic by shooting him in the stomach is a war crime."

The Palestinian Medical Relief Society confirmed he was working with them, saying in a statement he was shot while trying to treat one of those wounded in clashes.

Israeli forces frequently enter refugee camps to carry out arrests or other operations, often sparking clashes with residents.

The World Health Organization "strongly condemned" the killing in a statement, saying the man was killed while providing care to people injured.

"We are saddened by this tragic loss. Health workers provide critical care and save lives. Their protection must be ensured," said Gerald Rockenschaub, head of the WHO office for the West Bank and Gaza.

Omar Shakir, Human Rights Watch country director, told AFP that if confirmed the "death would mark at least the fourth clearly identifiable Palestinian medic gunned down by Israeli forces in the last year."

"Routine unlawful killings by Israeli forces and full impunity in Israel highlight the need for the International Criminal Court to open a formal probe into serious crimes committed in Palestine," he said.

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