Israeli forces kill Palestinian boy in West Bank, says Palestinian Health Ministry

JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli forces killed a 13-year-old Palestinian boy near the West Bank city of Ramallah on Tuesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The Israeli military said its forces had fired on Palestinians who were hurling rocks at their vehicles.

The boy, named as Ghassan Gharib Zahran, was shot in the town of Deir Abu Mash'al in the occupied West Bank. The official Palestinian WAFA news agency reported that Israeli forces opened fire on a number of children, shooting and critically wounding Zahran.

He was transferred to the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah where he succumbed to his wounds shortly after.

The Israeli military said in a statement a number of Palestinians "hurled rocks at Israeli vehicles adjacent to the area of Deir Abu Masha'al. Israeli security forces at the scene responded by firing toward the terrorists. As a result, one of the terrorists was hit."

Violence in the West Bank has been escalating for more than two years, but picked up in intensity since Hamas fighters based in the coastal enclave of Gaza led an attack on Israel last October.

(Reporting by Ali Sawafta, Nuha Sharaf and Steven Scheer; Editing by Alexandra Hudson)