ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 149

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Palestinian man shot dead by Israeli troops in refugee camp near Jerusalem

Footage shows soldiers surrounding body of Samir Aslan, 41, in Qalandiya during arrest raid; IDF says Palestinians hurled cinder blocks at troops from rooftops

Emanuel (Mannie) Fabian is The Times of Israel's military correspondent

Israeli troops are seen surrounding the body of Samir Aslan, 41, in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem, early January 12, 2023. (Screenshot: Twitter)
Israeli troops are seen surrounding the body of Samir Aslan, 41, in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem, early January 12, 2023. (Screenshot: Twitter)

A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli troops early Thursday during an arrest raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp north of Jerusalem, Palestinian health officials said.

The Israel Defense Forces said troops had entered the camp to arrest wanted Palestinians and seize illegal firearms.

“During the activity, suspects hurled stones and cinder blocks from rooftops at the forces in a way that endangered the lives of the troops, who responded with riot dispersal means and live fire,” the IDF said, adding that one suspect was hit.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said 41-year-old Samir Awni Harbi Aslan was shot in the chest during the raid.

Footage posted to social media purported to show Aslan wounded and lying on the ground, surrounded by soldiers. He was later taken by Palestinians and his death was declared at a nearby medical center, according to Palestinian media.

The IDF said troops arrested six wanted Palestinians and seized an M16 assault rifle, weapon parts, ammunition, and money allegedly intended for terror use in the camp.

Aslan was the third Palestinian killed by Israeli forces in a day, after an alleged Palestinian stabber was shot dead in the South Hebron Hills on Wednesday afternoon and a Palestinian gunman was killed in clashes with the IDF in Nablus in the morning.

In a separate raid on Thursday morning, the IDF, Border Police, and Shin Bet security agency said troops arrested a member of the Lion’s Den terror group in the West Bank city of Nablus as local gunmen attempted to target the forces.

Forces from an elite Border Police unit detained Iyad an-Nasser Shbaro, 33, along with four other suspects, and seized two makeshift submachine guns and an explosive device, according to the joint statement.

Clashes erupted in the city during the raid. The IDF said troops returned fire at gunmen, adding that several suspects were hit.

The Palestinian Authority Health Ministry said seven Palestinians were brought to a hospital in  Nablus as a result of the clashes. Their conditions were described as stable.

The IDF said another 11 Palestinians were arrested elsewhere across the West Bank overnight, with some violent incidents.

In the Deheishe refugee camp near Bethlehem, the IDF said Palestinians hurled Molotov cocktails and stones at troops, who responded with riot dispersal means.

In the northern West Bank village of Wadi al-Far’a, Palestinians hurled an explosive device and stones at troops, the IDF said.

And in the nearby village of Raba, the IDF said troops seized a makeshift submachine gun.

An M16 rifle seized by IDF troops in the Qalandiya refugee camp near Jerusalem, early January 12, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF said the 22 Palestinians who were arrested in the West Bank over suspected terror activities were taken to be questioned by the Shin Bet security agency.

The incidents came during an Israeli anti-terror offensive, mostly focused on the northern West Bank to deal with a series of Palestinian attacks that killed 31 people in 2022.

Israeli troops operate in the West Bank, early January 12, 2023. (Israel Defense Forces)

The IDF’s operation has netted more than 2,500 arrests in near-nightly raids. It also left over 170 Palestinians dead in 2022, and another seven since the beginning of the year, many of them while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces, though some were uninvolved civilians.

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