Israeli forces shot dead a 19-year-old Palestinian fighter in the occupied West Bank during clashes that broke out early Monday during an Israeli capture raid, Palestinian officials said.
The Israeli military said the young man threw fire bombs at the army from close range. The jihadist group said the man, Taher Zakarneh, was one of its members.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Zakarneh was shot in the head, leg and thigh in a town near the West Bank city of Jenin, a bastion of armed struggle against Israeli rule that has been the focus of Israel’s months-long arrest raids.
The Israeli military said it encountered violent protests during the operation in Qabatiya and responded with fire from rocks and guns fired at troops, including bullets thrown by Zakarneh. The military said 17 Palestinians were arrested overnight in raids across the West Bank.
Israel has been conducting near-daily arrest raids in the West Bank for months, spurred by a series of deadly attacks on Israelis earlier this year that left 19 people dead. Dozens of Palestinians were killed in that time, many of them militiamen or those involved in the clashes, but several civilians were also killed, including one who accidentally drove past. war zones and a veteran Al Jazeera journalist covering the raids.
Israel says the airstrikes are aimed at destroying militant networks. The Palestinians say the operations are aimed at perpetuating Israel’s 55-year military occupation of territories they want an independent state.
While the initial wave of violence has largely subsided, attacks against Israelis have flared up recently. On Friday, a Palestinian stabbed and wounded an Israeli soldier before being killed. On Sunday, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on a bus carrying a group of Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, wounding five soldiers, including one seriously, as well as the civilian bus driver. . Also on Sunday, the military said an explosive device was thrown at soldiers at a West Bank post, injuring four people slightly.
Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians wanted those areas for their state of hope.