Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian in disputed circumstances in the northern West Bank on Saturday, the latest in an ongoing wave of violence that has gripped the region.

The Israeli army said in a statement that two Palestinian men tried to drive a car into soldiers in Sebastia, near the occupied West Bank city of Nablus, around midnight, but the claim could not be verified. The soldiers opened fire, killing one and wounding the other.

The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the murdered youth as 18-year-old Fawzi Hani. Palestinian media quoted the family of the victims as saying that the two did not attack the soldiers, but were instead ambushed while they were driving and their car was riddled with bullets.

Local media reported that Hani had just passed her high school exams and was in a good mood before the shooting.

The shooting came hours after a 17-year-old Palestinian was killed by Israeli fire in another part of the West Bank.

The spiral of violence, which shows no signs of abating, is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in years. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since early 2023 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

Violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank escalated early last year when Israel expanded near-nightly incursions into Palestinian areas in response to a series of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.

Israel says most of the dead have been militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the army incursions and others not involved in the fighting have also been killed.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. The Palestinians seek these territories for their long-awaited independent state.