Palestinian Authority health officials said a 29-year-old Palestinian man was killed by live Israeli fire during clashes Friday with soldiers in the West Bank city of Hebron.
The Israel Defense Forces confirmed that troops opened fire and hit a man in Hebron, saying that he “threw a firebomb at troops, endangering their lives.”
Palestinian media identified the man as Ahmad al-Atrash. He formerly served prison time in Israeli jails for security offenses, Palestinian media reported.
Video published by the Kan public broadcaster showed a number of young Palestinians chanting “with spirit, with blood, we’ll redeem you martyr,” after his death was announced.
The Palestinian Red Crescent emergency service said dozens of Palestinians were wounded in weekly demonstrations elsewhere in the West Bank, where protesters often throw rocks and firebombs at Israeli troops, who fire tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and sometimes live rounds.
The clashes came as Israeli forces were deployed in increased numbers across the West Bank following several deadly terror attacks in Israel — one of which was carried out by a Palestinian from the Jenin area — and due to heightened concerns of tensions ahead of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, which begins Saturday.
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Also Friday, IDF Chief of Staff Aviv Kohavi toured the West Bank and visited the gap in the security fence where the Palestinian gunman who killed five people in an attack in Bnei Brak on Tuesday is believed to have crossed into Israel.
According to a statement from the Israel Defense Forces, Kohavi called to seal the gap and ordered additional reinforcements to the so-called seam line.
He also met with senior commanders and members of the IDF’s elite Duvdevan commando unit.
“Our mission is to stop the series of attacks and even though we do this throughout the year, these days we are concentrating greater efforts,” he said, referring to the regional division that operates in the West Bank.
“We will continue to act in every way to stop the attacks.”
Defense Minister Benny Gantz also toured the Judea and Samaria Division on Friday, urging Palestinians “to preserve and act for calm” during Ramadan.
On Thursday, three Palestinian gunmen were killed in a firefight with Israeli troops when commandos entered Jenin in a rare daytime raid as part of a large-scale anti-terror operation following the recent attacks.
In response, the Gaza-ruling Hamas terror group threatened to escalate violence against Israel.
The warning came as Israeli officials have sought to head off tensions ahead of Ramadan amid fears that the violence could snowball into the same type of unrest that rocked Israel in May 2021, when Hamas began shooting rockets into Israel, sparking an 11-day war with Gaza and days of rioting between Arabs and Jews inside Israel.
Agencies contributed to this report.