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Palestinian gunman killed in clash with Israeli troops during arrest raid in Nablus

Military says armed men opened fire on the soldiers, none of whom were injured; assailant identified as a member of Fatah terror group

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)
Illustrative. IDF soldiers operating in the West Bank Palestinian town of Silat al-Harithiya, December 20, 2021. (Israel Defense Forces)

Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian gunman during an exchange of fire in the northern West Bank city of Nablus in the predawn hours of Thursday morning, the Israel Defense Forces said.

The soldiers were sent into the Balata refugee camp in the city to arrest a wanted man and came under fire, according to the military.

The troops returned fire, killing one of the gunmen, the IDF said.

The IDF said the troops completed the raid and arrested the suspect.

The gunman was identified by Palestinian security sources as 22-year-old Bakeer Hashash. Photographs of Hashash that were shared on Palestinian social media showed him holding an M-16 assault rifle.

Later on Thursday he was claimed as a member by the Fatah terror group. Hamas also issued a public condemnation of Israel for killing him, referring to Hashash as a “hero martyr.”

Recent months have seen a rise in violence by Palestinians against Israeli civilians and soldiers in the West Bank and Jerusalem, including a deadly shooting attack last month outside the illegal Homesh outpost, as well as an increase in violence by Israeli settlers against Palestinians.

The IDF has deployed additional soldiers to the area in an effort to prevent further violence.

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