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Israeli soldier and two Palestinians killed in Jenin clashes

Israeli army said one of its officers was killed 'during an exchange of fire' near a checkpoint in the West Bank
The killed Palestinians were identified as Ahmed Ayman Ibrahim Abed, 23, and Abdul Rahman Hani Subhi Abed, 22 (Wafa news agency)
By in
Ramallah, Occupied West Bank

An Israeli soldier and two Palestinians were killed in clashes near a checkpoint in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the army and the Palestinian health ministry said.

The army said that before dawn, Israeli forces intercepted two Palestinians, one of them an officer in the Palestinian Authority, approaching the Jalameh checkpoint, north of Jenin, and an exchange of fire ensued.

The Palestinians killed an army officer and were shot dead by the troops, it added. The soldier was later identified as Major Bar Falach, 30, who was the deputy commander of the Nahal Brigade's Special Reconnaissance Unit.

The Palestinian health ministry confirmed "the martyrdom" of Ahmed Ayman Abed, 23, and Abdul Rahman Hani Abed, 22, who are cousins from the village of Kafr Dan northwest of Jenin.

The two young men hail from the Fatah, according to an official from the movement.

"These operations did not come out of nowhere. They came in response to the Israeli crimes that are committed daily,” Jamal Huwail, a member of the Revolutionary Council in the Fatah movement, told Middle East Eye. “We cannot remain silent about them, and we cannot stand by and watch."

'They chose the path of resistance'

Ahmed's uncle Murad Abed told MEE that the army, which later declared that the checkpoint will be closed for traffic until Friday, had summoned the father to confirm the identity of Ahmed. Murad was released after hours of questioning and was not allowed to see the bodies. 

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According to Murad, Ahmed had been working for four years with the Palestinian security services' intelligence branch after graduating from the Al Istiqlal University with a degree in security, military and police sciences. 

Abdul Rahman was a labourer in agriculture and construction and has previously worked inside Israel, Murad added, saying the family was shocked to hear the news of their death.

"As a family, we dreamed that the two young men would realise their dreams in life and have families in Kafr Dan like other people of their age," Murad said. 

"But they choose the path of resisting the occupation. They couldn't remain silent about its crimes."

Tensions come as Israeli forces intensify near-daily raid-and-arrest operations in various parts of the West Bank, which often lead to the wounding or killing of Palestinians.

More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces this year across the Gaza Strip, the occupied West Bank and East Jerusalem. 

At least 100 people have been killed in the West Bank alone, making it the deadliest year in the Palestinian territory since 2015.