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Israeli forces kill Palestinian during Hebron protest

Ahmad al-Atrash was shot in the head by Israeli forces as 70 people wounded in confrontations in Nablus area
Ahmad al-Atrash, a 29-year-old former detainee, was fatally shot in the head by Israeli forces during confrontations in Hebron (Palestinian media)

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian on Friday during confrontations in the Palestinian city of Hebron, as tensions continue to rise following a spate of violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank.

The 29-year-old Palestinian, identified as former detainee Ahmad al-Atrash, was shot in the head and killed "with live ammunition", the Palestinian health ministry said in a statement.

Atrash was released from an Israeli prison over a year ago following six years in detention.

The confrontations between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces took place in the centre of Hebron in the West Bank, local media said.

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The Israeli army used live rounds, rubber bullets and tear gas on Palestinian crowds gathered in different areas of the West Bank, including Nablus and Ramallah.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it treated 70 people wounded in the confrontations in the Nablus area.

In Ramallah, dozens of Palestinians suffered from tear-gas inhallation and one sustained bullet wounds to the hand and leg in confrontations with Israeli forces during a commemoration of Land Day. 

Land Day has been marked since 1976, when Israeli police shot dead six Palestinian citizens of Israel who were protesting against the expropriation of Palestinian land in northern Israel for Jewish settlers.

Security tensions have been high after 11 Israelis were killed by Palestinians in three separate attacks inside Israeli cities.

Israeli security forces on Thursday raided Jenin, a city in the northern West Bank, and a confrontation with civilian residents ensued. Two Palestinians, identified as Sanad Abu Atiyeh and Yazid Saadi, were killed and at least 15 more were wounded by live bullets.

The army raid also led to a gun battle with Palestinian fighters in Jenin refugee camp.  

Atta Abu Rumaila, secretary of the Fatah movement in Jenin, said the raid was a "retaliation" for an attack in Bnei Brak, an Orthodox Jewish city near Tel Aviv, on Tuesday, in which a Palestinian shot dead five Israelis.

Also on Thursday, a third Palestinian was killed in Bethlehem by an armed Israeli passenger after reportedly stabbing an Israeli man on a bus. 

On 22 March, a Palestinian citizen of Israel killed four people in a suspected stabbing and car-ramming attack in Beersheba, in southern Israel. 

Five days later, two Palestinian gunmen opened fire in the central Israeli city of Hadera, killing two Israeli police officers and wounding several others before being fatally shot.

In the wake of the violence, which comes just ahead of the first anniversary of last May's Palestinian uprising, Israeli police and armed forces raised the alert level to the highest it has been in a year.

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