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Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank on first day of Ramadan

Amir Imad Abu Khadijeh was killed during an Israeli raid on his house in Izbat Shufa, southeast of Tulkarm
Amir Imad Abu Khadija, 25, was killed on the first day of Ramadan by Israeli forces (Social Media/Twitter)

Israeli forces shot dead a 25-year-old Palestinian man during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Thursday morning, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

The Israeli border police said that its undercover units were looking for a man suspected of involvement in several shooting attacks.

The forces surrounded Abu Khadijeh's house in the town of Izbat Shufa, southeast of Tulkarm, and fired at him after he allegedly aimed a weapon at them.

A new group formed to confront Israel's occupation under the name of the "Tulkarm Brigade" said that Abu Khadijeh was one of its founders and called the killing an "assassination".

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Thursday marks the first day of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

In previous years, tensions between Palestinians and Israeli forces have risen during Ramadan, with Israeli forces imposing heavy security measures in occupied East Jerusalem, particularly around al-Aqsa Mosque compound, which often lead to confrontations.

Since the start of the year, there have been more Israeli raids and more violence against Palestinians in the West Bank than in the same period in previous years. 

Abu Khadijeh's killing brings the number of Palestinians killed by Israelis so far this year to at least 87, including 16 children.

It's the bloodiest start to a year since 2000, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Palestinians have killed at least 13 Israelis this year.

Fears are growing that there could be a wider outbreak of violence in April when Passover, Easter, and Ramadan all overlap.

Israeli and Palestinian officials met on the weekend in a bid to ease tensions between the two sides following a series of attacks by Israeli forces across the occupied West Bank.

The one-day meeting in the Egyptian resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh was backed by Egyptian, US, and Jordanian officials.

It is the second meeting in as many weeks where both sides have tried to reach a framework that will stop tensions from escalating in the West Bank.

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