Palestinian killed in West Bank firefight

Women mourn at a family house in the West Bank refugee camp of Qalandia, on the outskirts of Ramallah, Feb. 5, 2017.

A Palestinian was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Ramallah, the Israeli army said Monday.

The man, whom Israeli police named as 31-year-old Bassel al-Aaraj, opened fire at soldiers who came to arrest him at his home Sunday night and was shot dead.

Two other Palestinians were wounded by gunfire in subsequent clashes with Israeli troops, Palestinian hospital sources said. Two weapons were later found on the property, according to an army spokeswoman.

A police spokeswoman said al-Aaraj was “the head of a cell planning attacks against Israeli targets”. Since a wave of violence broke out in October 2015, 254 Palestinians, 40 Israelis, two Americans, one Jordanian, one Eritrean and one Sudanese have been killed, according to an AFP count.Most of the Palestinians who lost their lives were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities, others killed during protests, in clashes or during air raids on Gaza.

The Israeli army routinely carries out forays and arrests in Ramallah even though it is in principle entirely under the control of the Palestinian Authority.


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