A Palestinian gunman was killed by Israeli forces near the northern West Bank city of Nablus before dawn on Thursday, Palestinian health officials said.
Amir Khalifa, 27, reported by Palestinian media to be a member of an armed group in the Nablus area and wanted by Israel, was shot during clashes with Israeli forces in the town of Zawata.
The Palestinian Authority health ministry said Khalifa was fatally shot in the head and back.
The Israel Defense Forces said that troops carrying out “proactive activity” near Nablus came under fire. The soldiers returned fire, hitting the gunman, the IDF said.
A Telegram account thought to be tied to the Al-Aqsa Martyrs’ Brigades claimed Khalifa was a commander in the terror group’s local wing in the Ein Beit al-Ma’ refugee camp in Nablus, also known as al-Ein Camp or Camp No. 1.
Meanwhile, on Thursday morning, police cleared for publication that special forces had detained a Palestinian suspected of planning a terror attack in Israel last week.
The 21-year-old suspect was detained by members of the elite police Unit 33, also known as Gideonim, in the West Bank city of Jericho.
Police say Gideonim (Unit 33) officers arrested a 21-year-old Palestinian suspect in Jericho last week, suspected of planning to carry out an attack in Israel. pic.twitter.com/7sdTodubqn
— Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian (@manniefabian) August 10, 2023
Violence has surged across the West Bank over the past year and a half, with a rise in Palestinian shooting attacks against Israeli civilians and troops, near-nightly arrest raids by the military, and an uptick in attacks by extremist Jewish settlers against Palestinians.
The IDF said that troops detained three wanted Palestinians during sweeps across the West Bank early Thursday, with violence in some areas.
The military on Thursday also confirmed reports of gunfire the previous morning by Palestinians toward the Israeli town of Bat Hefer, situated close to the West Bank security barrier and the Palestinian city of Tulkarem. No damage or injuries were caused.
The IDF said troops found a number of shell casings in the area, and were searching for the gunmen who carried out the attack.
Palestinian terror attacks in Israel and the West Bank have left 26 people dead and several others seriously wounded since the beginning of the year. According to a tally by The Times of Israel, 169 West Bank Palestinians have also been killed during the same period — most of them during clashes with security forces or while carrying out attacks, but some were uninvolved civilians and others were killed under unclear circumstances, including by armed Israeli settlers.