Jerusalem, Jan 12 (EFE).- A Palestinian man was shot dead during an Israeli army raid in the West Bank on Thursday, the third Palestinian fatality from violent clashes with Israelis in the past 24 hours.
The deaths come amid heightened tensions and a sustained surge in violence in the region. Last year, the deadliest since 2006, saw 170 Palestinians killed and more than 2,600 were arrested, while 29 Israelis have also died.
The man killed on Thursday has been identified as 41-year-old Samir Awni Harbi Aslan, who was shot in the chest during a raid on the Qalandia refugee camp, north of Jerusalem, the Palestinian National Authority’s health ministry said.
While the Israeli army did not confirm the death, it said in a statement that its troops had conducted several overnight “counterterrorism” operations in the West Bank in which 17 Palestinians were arrested.
One of those raids, a military spokesperson said, was in Qalandia, where “suspects hurled rocks and blocks from the rooftops aiming at soldiers operating beneath.”
“The soldiers responded with riot dispersal means and live ammunition,” the statement said, adding that “a hit was identified.”
Samir Awni Harbi Aslan’s death comes the day after two other Palestinians were killed in the West Bank.
The first was 21-year-old Ahmed Abu Junaid, who died from gunshot wounds during a clash with Israeli troops during an early morning raid on the Balata refugee camp in Nablus.
Hours later, a 19-year-old stabbed an Israeli civilian near Shima, a settlement in the southern West Bank, before he was shot and killed by another Israeli civilian from the area.
Seven Palestinians have now died so far this year during armed clashes with Israelis, including two minors.
The West Bank has seen spiraling violence since March 2022, when the Israeli army launched Operation “Break The Wave” in response to a spate of fatal attacks in Israel by Palestinians and Arab Israelis.
As part of the operation, Israeli security forces conduct almost nightly raids, particularly in areas around the cities of Jenin and Nablus, strongholds for Palestinian militias.
These operations frequently lead to armed clashes, which often result in civilian deaths and the arrests of Palestinians suspected of “terrorism.” EFE