2 Palestinians killed in overnight West Bank clashes; 3 terror suspects arrested

Police say officers ‘neutralized’ teen who shot at them in Balata refugee camp near Nablus; Palestinian officials say man in his 20s killed in Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem

Illustrative: IDF soldiers stand guard during a search in the West Bank village of Yatta, on June 15, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)
Illustrative: IDF soldiers stand guard during a search in the West Bank village of Yatta, on June 15, 2016. (Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90)

Two Palestinians were killed early Tuesday in separate clashes with Israeli forces in the West Bank, Palestinian officials said.

In Nablus’s Balata refugee camp in the northern West Bank, Border Police officers entered to arrest a wanted Palestinian. According to police, Palestinians threw stones and objects at them as they sought to leave the camp with the detainee.

Another Palestinian opened fire with a pistol at the officers, a Border Police spokesperson said.

“During the operation, two terrorists arrived on a scooter. One of the terrorists shot at the troops. Undercover Border Police officers fired back and neutralized him,” police said.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry identified the deceased as 16-year-old Nader Rayan.

“Many bullets were fired at him, wounding him in the head, the chest, and hand,” the ministry said in a statement.

Three Palestinians were hospitalized in Nablus following the clashes, including one in serious condition after having been shot with live fire, the ministry said.

Israeli police said the suspect they arrested was involved in terror activity, without elaborating further. An M-16 rifle he had on his person was seized, and he was taken to the Shin Bet security agency for questioning, police added.

Separately, Palestinian health officials said a Palestinian was shot and killed by Israeli forces during clashes in the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem. Police said Israeli forces raided the camp to arrest two terror suspects wanted by the Shin Bet.

“Alaa Shaham, a twenty-something young man, was shot in the head by live fire,” the PA Health Ministry said.

Another six Palestinians were wounded by live fire, the ministry said.

Clashes erupted at the scene of one of the arrests, during which “hundreds” of Palestinians hurled heavy objects from rooftops, police said.

“Undercover Border Police troops responded with riots dispersal means and live fire, and completed the mission without casualties to our forces,” police said in a statement.

No police or military casualties were reported in either incident.

Nine Palestinians have been killed in violent confrontations with Israeli troops in recent weeks. Some died in gun battles with Israeli soldiers near Jenin, and others died in attempted stabbing attacks in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In a murkier incident earlier this month, Israeli soldiers shot and killed 19-year-old Palestinian student Ammar Abu Afifa near Hebron. The army later declined to accuse him of any violent activity, saying that soldiers saw him approaching a lookout post, chased after him and shot him.

Officials have warned of a possible flare-up of violence during Ramadan next month, and Shin Bet head Ronen Bar reportedly held talks with his FBI counterpart in Washington this week on the matter. Public Security Minister Omer Barlev, who oversees the police, warned in response to the Jerusalem stabbing attacks that “terrorists and extremists will try to set the area on fire” in the coming weeks.

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