DEIR AL-HATAB, West Bank (AP) — Israeli troops exchanged fire with Palestinians during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, killing one Palestinian and forcing the surrender of a wanted man.
The raid unfolded in the village of Deir al-Hatab, near the West Bank city of Nablus, a recent flashpoint of violence.
The Israeli military identified the wanted man as an activist in the Islamic militant group Hamas, and said he was suspected in a shooting attack on an Israeli bus and a taxi near Nablus earlier this week.
Troops surrounded the three-story building where the suspect, Salman Omran, was staying, the army said. It said Omran opened fire, setting off a gun battle. Troops also used grenades and a bulldozer in attacking the hideout, the army said. It said Omran eventually surrendered, handing over his M-16 assault rifle.
Troops also exchanged fire with several gunmen in the area. Palestinian health officials said a 21-year-old man was killed by a shot to the head. He was buried later Wednesday in a nearby village.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said seven people were wounded, including three journalists, during the clashes and that one of its ambulances had been hit by tear gas.
Israel has carried out similar incursions almost every night in the West Bank since the spring after a s against Israelis killed 19 people.
Israel says its operations aim to dismantle militant infrastructure and prevent future attacks, and that it has been forced to act because of ineffectiveness on the part of Palestinian security forces. For Palestinians, the nightly raids into their cities, villages and towns have undermined the Palestinian security forces and strengthened Israel’s control over lands Palestinians want for their hoped-for state.
The Israeli raids have killed some 100 Palestinians, making this year the deadliest since 2015. Most of those killed are said by Israel to have been militants, but local youths protesting the incursions as well as some civilians have also been killed in the violence. Hundreds have been rounded up, with many placed in so-called administrative detention, which allows Israel to hold them without trial or charge.
The raids have increased tensions in the West Bank, with a recent uptick in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israelis. They have also drawn into focus the growing disillusionment among young Palestinians over the tight security coordination between Israel and the internationally backed Palestinian Authority, which work together to apprehend militants.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war and 500,000 Jewish settlers now live in some 130 settlements and other outposts among nearly 3 million Palestinians. The Palestinians want that territory, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, for their future state.