A Palestinian man who allegedly drove his vehicle into an Israeli soldier was shot dead in the West Bank city of Hebron on Monday morning, the military and Palestinian health officials said.
In a statement, the Israel Defense Forces said troops operating in Hebron identified a suspicious vehicle.
“The soldiers asked the driver to stop the vehicle in order to inspect it. A soldier approached the vehicle and the driver rammed into his leg,” the military said.
The troops opened fire at the car as it fled the scene, before it crashed, the IDF said, adding that the soldiers had reported hitting the car with the gunfire.
The Palestinian Health Ministry identified the man as Nassim Abu Fouda, 26.
According to the official Palestinian WAFA news agency, Abu Fouda was shot while driving his car near the Tomb of the Patriarchs, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque.
The man was hit in the head by the gunfire, and taken in critical condition to a nearby hospital, where he died, WAFA said.
The military said the incident would be further investigated, but did not describe it as a deliberate attack against the soldiers.
الشهيد | نسيم نايف سلمان أبو فودة
العُمــــر | 26 عامًا
التاريخ | 30 – 01 – 2023
المكــان | مدينة الخليل
— شهداء فلسطين (@Pal_Shaheed) January 30, 2023
Tensions have soared in the West Bank as the IDF has pressed on with an anti-terror offensive mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of attacks that have left 31 people in Israel dead in 2022, and seven more in an attack on Friday.
The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left 171 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another 35 since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.
Tensions increased dramatically since Thursday morning, when an IDF raid in the West Bank against a terrorist cell left 10 Palestinians dead — most of them gunmen and members of the cell, though at least one civilian was also killed.
The IDF said Thursday’s operation in the Jenin refugee camp was necessary to foil imminent attack plans by a local Islamic Jihad terror cell. The group had primed explosives and firearms, according to the IDF.
Thursday overnight saw rocket fire from Palestinian terror groups in Gaza and Israeli retaliatory airstrikes.
On Friday night, a Palestinian gunman from East Jerusalem killed seven people and injured three more in the Neve Yaakov neighborhood, and the next morning, a 13-year-old Palestinian shot and wounded two Israeli men near the Old City.
The IDF has bolstered forces in the West Bank following the recent incidents.