JERUSALEM, May 14, 2010 — -- The body of 16-year-old Palestinian Ayssar Yasser Zaben was found in a West Bank field near the village where he lived. He had been shot in the back.
Local Palestinians have accused armed Jewish settlers of shooting him. The Israeli police confirm the boy's death and said they have launched an investigation, and say they have received reports of stone throwing and gun shots in the area.
The boy's body was discovered after midnight by worried relatives. His cousin Dumar Zaben told Israel's Ynet news website, "We searched for him with flashlights. We knew he had been working on his family's agricultural land, and we found him under an olive tree lying on his stomach with a bullet wound in his back."
Earlier Thursday evening, witnesses reported a group of Palestinian teenagers throwing stones at cars driven by Jewish settlers on a major road linking settlements in the occupied West Bank.
According to the witnesses, a car stopped and at least one armed settler was seen firing shots in the direction of the boys.
In recent months there has been an increase in the number of violent incidents between Palestinians and Jewish settlers.
The Israeli government's attempt to limit settlement construction and recent action to demolish illegally-built settlement outposts has inspired revenge attacks by extremist settlers.
Israeli Settler Attacks on Palestinians
They have vented their anger in what they call "price tag" attacks. Two mosques have been torched in recent months, and there have been numerous attacks on Palestinians, their farm land and livestock.