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Palestinian shot dead during alleged attempt to damage West Bank barrier

IDF says troops began suspect arrest procedure after spotting Raafat Issa, 29, ‘sabotaging’ fence near village of ‘Anin, west of Jenin

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

Israeli army soldiers guard a section of Israel's separation barrier, in the West Bank village of Nilin, west of Ramallah, November 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)
Israeli army soldiers guard a section of Israel's separation barrier, in the West Bank village of Nilin, west of Ramallah, November 7, 2021. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser, File)

A Palestinian man allegedly damaging the northern West Bank security barrier on Wednesday afternoon was shot dead by Israeli troops, the military and Palestinian health officials said.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa, citing Red Crescent medical officials, said 29-year-old Raafat Issa was shot while close to the security barrier near the village of ‘Anin, west of the city of Jenin.

The Israel Defense Forces said Issa was spotted by troops stationed in the area as he was allegedly “sabotaging” the fence.

“The forces began a suspect arrest procedure that included shooting,” the IDF said, adding that Issa was hit by the gunfire. The IDF did not say if Issa was armed or had attempted to enter Israeli territory.

He was treated by army medics at the scene before being handed over to the Red Crescent to be taken to a hospital in Jenin.

The Palestinian Authority said Issa, from the village of Sanur south of Jenin, died of his wounds.

Until recently, thousands of Palestinians laborers would enter Israel every day through gaps in the fence for work.

But beginning earlier this year, the IDF dispatched thousands of troops to areas along the barrier to prevent Palestinians from crossing into Israel after a series of attacks carried out by people taking advantage of the breaches.

Several Palestinians have been killed in recent months attempting to illegally cross through gaps in the security barrier, which takes the form of a wall in some places and a barbed wire fence in others.

Earlier Wednesday, a Palestinian teenager was killed amid a clash with Israeli troops in the West Bank city of Nablus, apparently due to an explosive device he was holding exploding prematurely.

The incidents came amid high tensions in the West Bank, as Israeli security forces have pressed on with a months-long anti-terror offensive.

The military’s operation has made more than 2,000 arrests in near-nightly raids, but has also left over 130 Palestinians dead, many of them — but not all — while carrying out attacks or during clashes with security forces.

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