June 13, 2024

Palestinian mourners carry the body of Taher Zakarneh, 19, during his funeral in the West Bank town of Qabatiya, near Jenin, Monday, Sept. 5. (File)

Moon Desk: Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man during a firefight Tuesday in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian Health Ministry said. The violence erupted after Israel demolished the home of a Palestinian who killed three Israelis in an attack earlier this year.

The military said it demolished an apartment in the West Bank city of Jenin belonging to Raed Hazem, the gunman who opened fire at a Tel Aviv bar in April.

During the operation, the army said “violent disturbances erupted that included stone-throwing, firebombs, hurling of explosives and massive gunfire toward the troops” and that soldiers returned fire.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a 29-year-old man was killed and 16 others were wounded in the fighting. The Palestinian official news agency, Wafa, identified the man as Mohammad Musa Sabaaneh. It was not immediately clear if he was armed or involved in the clashes.

Israel maintains a policy of demolishing the homes of Palestinian attackers. Israeli officials say the demolitions deter future attacks, while rights groups view it as a form of collective punishment.

Israel has been conducting near-daily arrest raids in the West Bank for months, which were prompted by a spate of deadly attacks against Israelis earlier this year that killed 19 people.

Those attacks include the deadly shooting carried out by Hazem, who opened fire into a crowded Tel Aviv bar. He was later killed in a shootout with Israeli security forces.

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed during that time, many of them militants or people involved in clashes, but some civilians have also been killed, including one who inadvertently drove through a battle zone and a veteran Al Jazeera journalist covering the raids.

Israel says the arrest raids are meant to dismantle militant networks that have embedded themselves, particularly around the West Bank city of Jenin which has become a bastion for armed struggle against Israel. The Palestinians say the operations are aimed at maintaining Israel’s 55-year military occupation of territories they want for an independent state.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip, in the 1967 Mideast war and the Palestinians seek those territories for a future state.

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