Palestinian suspect killed during West Bank arrest operation
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Palestinian suspect killed during West Bank arrest operation

Police say they shot youth who then fell off a roof in attempt to flee; family claims he was arrested and executed

Tamar Pileggi is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Illustrative photo of Israeli soldiers on an arrest operation in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 2014. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)
Illustrative photo of Israeli soldiers on an arrest operation in the West Bank city of Hebron, June 2014. (IDF Spokesperson/Flash90)

A Palestinian youth fell to his death from a roof early Monday morning after he was shot by Israeli police who were attempting to arrest him, police said. Palestinian sources denied that he died in a fall and claimed that he was executed.

It was the third time in the past week that a Palestinian was killed during an arrest attempt.

Border Police forces entered the Qalandia refugee camp near Ramallah in the West Bank to arrest two “suspected terror activists,” one of whom was shot in the leg as he was running away across a roof, then fell to his death as he tried to leap to another roof, police said in a statement.

The forces called on the running suspect to stop, before shooting at his lower extremities, police said.

“Despite that, the suspect continued to run and when he attempted to get to the roof of another building, he fell off it and was mortally wounded,” the statement read.

A paramedic with the troops attempted to treat him, but was forced to pronounce him dead at the scene, police said.

The youth was identified as Muhammad Abu Latifa, 18.

Abu Latifa’s family and local Palestinian sources disputed the police account, claiming that he was “executed” by police after he was apprehended.

“He was chased at 5:30 a.m., shot in the feet then arrested alive,” his uncle Jamal Abu Latifa told the Palestinian Ma’an news agency. “Surprisingly, the Israeli soldiers shot him in the chest, then tied him with electricity wires and we have evidence that some of his body parts were fractured as a result of the assault by soldiers.”

Abu Latifa and a second man were suspected of having planned a terror attack in Israel, police said. Police did not initially say whether the second suspect was arrested.

Abu Latifa was the third Palestinian to be killed in the West Bank by IDF soldiers during an arrest operation in the past week.

On Thursday, Israeli forces shot dead 50-year-old Falah Abu Maria in a botched arrest raid in the southern West Bank village of Beit Omar near Hebron.

An IDF spokeswoman said soldiers, who intended to detain Abu Maria’s 24-year-old son Mohammed, wanted on suspicion of security offenses, opened fire on the Palestinian family after relatives and locals pelted them with stones and bricks.

On Wednesday, Palestinian medical and security sources said Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian man near the city of Jenin in the northern West Bank. Mohammed Alawneh, 22, was killed in clashes that followed an Israeli arrest raid in the village of Birqin, west of Jenin, the sources said.

According to Israel Radio, a mob of Palestinians met incoming IDF soldiers with a hail of Molotov cocktails and rocks. Alawneh was shot in the chest and died shortly after arriving at a hospital in Jenin, the sources said.

The IDF routinely enters Palestinian-controlled areas to detain those suspected of militant, anti-Israel activity. Palestinians condemn the practice as an invasion on Palestinian self-rule in the West Bank.

AFP and Times of Israel staff contributed to this report.

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