Palestinian shot dead after killing Israeli in West Bank shooting
A Palestinian man shot dead an Israeli in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron on Saturday and wounded four others, including another Palestinian, before being killed by a security guard, the Israeli military, medics and a settlement spokesperson said.
The shooting came just days before Israel holds its fifth election in less than four years and with violence surging in the West Bank, a Palestinian territory occupied by Israel since 1967.
Far-right Israeli lawmaker Itamar Ben-Gvir, whose Religious Zionism alliance is eyeing major gains in elections on Tuesday, claimed on Twitter that his Hebron home was the target.
Israel's security forces have not confirmed the allegation, and Israeli media, citing security sources, have reported that Ben-Gvir's home in a Hebron settlement was not targeted.
Israel's Magen David Adom (MDA) emergency response service initially reported five wounded, including a 50-year-old Israeli man left "unconscious with an injury to his upper body".
A spokesperson for Jerusalem's Hadassah Medical Center told AFP that the man had later died of his wounds.
The other Israelis suffered less severe injuries, the MDA said, while the Palestinian Red Crescent reported that the Palestinian victim was being treated at a Hebron area hospital.
Israel's army said "a terrorist shot live fire" near a checkpoint in Hebron, a West Bank city that is also home to a community of hardline Jewish settlers.
An army spokesperson told AFP that an Israeli security guard shot the attacker dead at the scene.
"Soldiers are conducting searches in the area" for additional suspects, the army said.
Two Palestinians were killed on Friday by Israeli forces near the Huwwara military checkpoint, south of Nablus in the occupied West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry.
Imad Abu Rashid, 47, and Ramzi Sami Zabara, 35, were hit in the upper body by Israeli troops after a shoot-out at another army post was reported.
The Israeli army said soldiers came under attack from a passing car and later fired at two "suspect" vehicles. It was not immediately clear if Abu Rashid and Zabara were in the same vehicle from which the alleged shooters fired at soldiers. The army said no Israelis were wounded.
Palestinian media said the two men hailed from the Askar refugee camp near Nablus and were members of the Civil Defence, which is part of the Palestinian Security Services.
A third Palestinian sustained critical injuries and was taken to hospital, where he underwent surgery, the health ministry said.
A fourth Palestinian who was waiting to cross the checkpoint was shot in the foot and detained by the Israeli soldiers, according to the Palestinian news agency Wafa.
Israeli forces and settlers have killed more than 175 Palestinians this year, including more than 125 in occupied East Jerusalem and the West Bank, of whom more than 45 were killed in the last two months alone.
According to the UN, 2022 is so far "the highest year for Palestinian fatalities in the West Bank, compared to the same period in the previous 16 years".
Dozens of arrests
The incident is the latest in a deadly week in Nablus, where Israeli forces have conducted regular raids and imposed tight restrictions on movement.
On Tuesday, five Palestinians were killed in an Israeli raid in the city targeting a nascent armed group called "The Lions' Den".
The group is a loose coalition of fighters that emerged in recent months, in parallel with a sharp rise in Israeli deadly raids on the West Bank.
Friday's deaths come as Israeli forces announced they would start easing a siege on Nablus that has been imposed for more than two weeks. Two entrances to the city were unmanned by soldiers on Friday morning allowing residents to move in and out freely, Palestinian media reported.
On Thursday, Israeli troops arrested more than 40 Palestinians in sweeping military raids across the West Bank, Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip overnight.
The arrests focused on the town of Beit Ummar in the Hebron governorate, where 19 people were detained, including minors, according to Wafa. Others were held in Ramallah, Nablus, Bethlehem, Jenin and occupied East Jerusalem.
Five fishermen were detained at dawn by the Israeli navy in al-Sudaniya, northern Gaza.
According to the Palestinian Prisoner's Society, a high proportion of Thursday's arrests were children and young boys.