Palestinian killed in exchange of fire with Israeli army: Military

#ThirdIntifada

A Palestinian suspected of being behind the killing of an Israeli rabbi died after a violent attempt to arrest him in the West Bank

Israeli soldiers block vehicles from crossing from the West Bank city of Hebron to the southern entrance of Yatta village (AFP)
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Last update: 
Wednesday 27 July 2016 7:45 UTC
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A Palestinian man accused of killing an Israeli rabbi died on Tuesday in an exchange of fire with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank, the military said. 

"A terrorist behind the attack in which Rabbi Michael Mark was assassinated on July 1 was killed on Tuesday night during exchanges of fire with soldiers," an army statement said.

"During the operation to stop Mohamed Fakih, who carried out the attack, he was killed in an exchange of fire with soldiers."

Mark, 48, was killed and three members of his family were injured this month when suspected Palestinian gunmen opened fire on his car, south of Hebron.

Tuesday night's shoot out took place in the village of Surif, north of the West Bank city of more than 200,000 Palestinians, the army said.

The area, where several hundred Jewish settlers live in a tightly guarded enclave in the heart of the city, has been a persistent source of tensions.

An AFP photographer at the scene said Israeli soldiers surrounded Fakih's house in Surif for several hours before launching an assault that severely damaged the building.

Soldiers carried away Fakih's body and arrested three people, who were led away their eyes covered and loaded into military vehicles. 

The army said they were three Palestinians with links to the 1 July attack, and "members of a terrorist cell with ties to Hamas," the Palestinian movement which runs Gaza.

The official Palestinian news agency said several villagers were injured in the exchange of fire and Palestinian ambulances were denied access to the site by Israel soldiers.

Fakih, 29, had served time in Israeli jail for links to the Islamic Jihad movement, according to Israel's Shin Bet security service. 

It issued a statement saying a Palestinian security official was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of driving Fakih to the scene of the rabbi attack. 

Fakih's brother and cousin were also held on suspicion of helping him to hide after the attack, the statement added.

Violence in the Palestinian territories and Israel since last October has killed at least 217 Palestinians, 34 Israelis, two Americans, an Eritrean and a Sudanese, according to an AFP count.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out knife, gun or car-ramming attacks, according to Israeli authorities.