Palestinian teen fatally shot in Israeli raid in occupied West Bank

Palestinian teen fatally shot in Israeli raid in occupied West Bank, officials say. Israeli troops shot and killed a 17-year-old Palestinian militant as fighting erupted when soldiers entered a volatile town in the occupied West Bank early Saturday, the Palestinian health ministry and local media said.

The shooting, which Israel said came during a gun battle with local militants, came at a time of intensified Israeli military activity in the northern West Bank town of Jenin in recent months.


The ministry identified the dead teen as Amjad Fayyed. It said another Palestinian — an 18-year-old — was in critical condition after being wounded by Israeli gunfire.

Later Saturday, the militant group Islamic Jihad said Fayyed was a member of its armed wing.

Local media reported that clashes erupted outside Jenin’s refugee camp when Israeli forces stormed the area.

In a statement, the army said soldiers opened fire after gunmen shot at them from a passing vehicle. It said the suspects also threw explosives toward the soldiers.

Israel has stepped up its military activity in Jenin in recent weeks in response to a series of deadly attacks inside Israel. Several attackers were from the Jenin area, which is known as a stronghold of Palestinian militants.

On May 11, Shireen Abu Akleh, a veteran Palestinian journalist for the Al Jazeera satellite channel, was shot and killed while covering an Israeli military operation in the Jenin camp. Abu Akleh’s family, the Palestinian Authority and witnesses accused Israel of shooting the correspondent for the Qatari news organization. Israel says there was a fierce gun battle at the time, and it’s not clear if she was killed by Israeli or Palestinian gunfire.

Israel has called for a joint forensics investigation. The Palestinians have refused, saying Israel cannot be trusted. They are carrying out their own investigation and say they will share their results with other countries, but not Israel.

Israeli military officials on Thursday said the military has identified a soldier’s rifle that may have fired the bullet that killed Abu Akleh, but said it cannot be certain unless the Palestinians turn over the bullet for analysis.

The ripple effects of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine have been devastating for families of all kinds — including those who have seen their prospective adoptions put on hold.

Ukraine was once one of the U.S.’s most frequent partners on international adoptions, but the war changed all that: The embattled country has halted all international adoptions as the country copes with the turmoil unleashed on its courts and social services. Many children, including orphans, have also fled or been displaced.

When the war started, there were more than 300 Ukrainian children previously hosted by American families that were seeking to formally adopt them, said Ryan Hanlon, chief executive officer and president of the National Council for Adoption. Representatives for adoption agencies said that means at least 200 families were at some point of the adoption process, which takes two to three years in ideal circumstances.

But, the National Council for Adoption made clear in a statement, “this is not the appropriate time or context to be considering adoption by U.S. citizens.”

Jessica Pflumm, a stay-at-home mom who runs a smoothie business and has two daughters in the suburbs of Kansas City, is one prospective adoptive parent. She hopes to adopt Maks, a younger teen — Pflumm was reluctant to reveal his exact age because of safety concerns — whom they hosted for four weeks in December and January. Maks is now back in Ukraine, where his orphanage’s director has moved him to relative safety in the country’s west.

“Every day is hard. We pray a lot and we try to think of what he is experiencing versus what we’re experiencing,” Pflumm said. “For us, it’s hard, but nothing compared to what he’s experiencing.”

War, natural disasters and other destabilizing events have a long history of upending intercountry adoptions. And Ukraine is a big piece of the international adoption puzzle, Hanlon said.

International adoptions Have Declined in Number in Recent years, but they have stayed relatively common from Ukraine. In fiscal year 2020, it surpassed China to become the country with the most adoptions to the U.S., responsible for more than 10% of all intercountry adoptions to the U.S., Hanlon said. Ukraine has one of the highest rates of children living in orphanages in Europe.

There were more than 200 adoptions from Ukraine in 2020 and nearly 300 in 2019, according to statistics from the U.S. Department of State. Russia, meanwhile, banned adoptions of children by American families in 2013 (around 60,000 children from Russia had been adopted by Americans in the two preceding decades).

Many prospective adoptions begin with U.S. families temporarily hosting older Ukrainian children through a network of orphan-hosting programs, Hanlon said.

“It’s a very different experience if you’ve already connected with a particular child,” Hanlon said. “There’s a very visceral connection that these families have with their children, with having them in their homes.”

Pflumm said she and her family do have a language barrier with Maks. He speaks only Russian, which they do not know. She said they communicate with him via phone, typing everything into Google Translate. A friend from Belarus sometimes interprets, she said.

Rising seas are encroaching on one of America’s most storied military installations, where thousands of recruits are molded into Marines each year amid the salt marshes of South Carolina’s Lowcountry region.

Marine Corps Recruit Depot Parris Island is particularly vulnerable to flooding, coastal erosion and other impacts of climate change, a Defense Department-funded “resiliency review” noted last month. Some scientists project that by 2099, three-quarters of the island could be under water during high tides each day.

Military authorities say they’re confident they can keep the second-oldest Marine Corps base intact, for now, through small-scale changes to existing infrastructure projects.

Maj. Marc Blair, Parris Island’s environmental director, describes this strategy as “the art of the small,” a phrase he attributes to the base’s commanding general, Brig. Gen. Julie Nethercot. In practice, it means such things as raising a culvert that needs to be repaired anyway, limiting development in low-lying areas and including flood-proofing measures in firing range upgrades.

Others advocate much larger and more expensive solutions, such as building huge seawalls around the base, or moving Marine training away from the coast altogether.

Salt marsh makes up more than half of the base’s 8,000 acres, and the depot’s highest point is just 13 feet above sea level. It is linked to the mainland by a single road that’s already susceptible to flooding.

Low-lying areas on the island and the nearby Marine Corps air station already flood about 10 times a year, and by 2050, “the currently flood-prone areas within both bases could experience tidal flooding more than 300 times annually and be underwater nearly 30% of the year given the highest scenario,” according to the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Military reports have for decades acknowledged threats from climate change to national security, as wildfires, hurricanes and floods have prompted evacuations and damaged bases. A Pentagon document published last fall, after President Biden ordered federal agencies to revamp their climate resilience plans, says the Department of Defense now has “a comprehensive approach to building climate-ready installations” and cites an adaptation and resilience study undertaken by Parris Island.

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