TULKARM, Palestinian Territories: Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian man Thursday, the Palestinian health ministry said, the first killing in the occupied West Bank during Ramazan as the army said it targeted an armed suspect.
Amir Imad Abu Khadija, 25, was killed by “the Israeli occupation bullets during their aggression on Tulkarm,” the ministry said in a statement. He was shot in the head and lower limbs, the statement added.
The Israeli military said forces raided the village of Shufa, near Tulkarm, in pursuit of Abu Khadija who was allegedly involved in multiple shootings targeting Israelis.
“During the arrival of the forces and surrounding of the building, the wanted suspect drew a gun within the apartment at the forces, who responded with live fire. A hit was identified,” an army statement said.
The killing is the first fatality in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict during the Muslim holy month of Ramazan, which started on Thursday. The Tulkarm Brigade, a local militant group, claimed Abu Khadija as one of its leaders and founders.
“He will be the first to bid us farewell in this holy month,” the group said in a statement.
The latest deadly Israeli raid in the West Bank came just days after Israeli and Palestinian officials met in Egypt in a bid to reduce tensions, amid a surge in violence.
Since the start of the year, the conflict has claimed the lives of 87 Palestinian adults and children, including militants and civilians.
Fourteen Israeli adults and children, including members of the security forces and civilians, and one Ukrainian civilian have been killed over the same period, according to an AFP tally based on official sources from both sides.
The United Nations Middle East peace envoy, Tor Wennesland, said Wednesday that Israeli operations and subsequent clashes have led to a staggering number of Palestinians killed and injured. “I am deeply disturbed by the intensifying cycle of violence that threatens to plunge Palestinians and Israelis deeper into deadly crisis,” he told the UN Security Council, while also condemning attacks on Israelis. Israel has occupied the West Bank since the 1967 Six-Day War.
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