Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank clashes

JERUSALEM (AP) — The Israeli military says border police shot and killed the “main instigator” of clashes on Monday in which hundreds of Palestinians threw rocks at security forces in the West Bank.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the deceased as 17-year-old Qusai Hassan Al-Aamour.

A wave of Israeli-Palestinian violence erupted in the fall of 2015. In that time, Palestinian attackers have carried out numerous stabbings, shootings and car-ramming assaults that killed 40 Israelis and two visiting Americans.

Israeli forces have killed 232 Palestinians in the same period, most of them identified by Israel as attackers, while the rest were taking part in violent demonstrations or clashes with security forces.

Mideast tensions have been heightened in anticipation of the new U.S. administration. Israel has expressed hope that Donald Trump will be more supportive than his predecessor, while the Palestinians fear he will tolerate Israeli settlement activity and move the U.S. Embassy from Tel Aviv to contested Jerusalem.

A close associate of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said Monday that Trump’s presidency offers the chance to bring the Palestinians back into peace negotiations with more “realistic” expectations.

Regional Cooperation Minister Tzahi Hanegbi said that by pressuring Israel, the Obama administration encouraged the Palestinians to adopt more extreme positions.

The Palestinians have blamed the failure of peace efforts on Israel, saying its expansion of Jewish settlements on occupied territory undermines the prospects for a two-state solution.

The last round of U.S.-mediated peace talks collapsed in 2014.

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