Violence has surged across the West Bank in recent months as the Israeli military continues a crackdown to root out terrorism networks in the Palestinian territory, which has led to daily reprisals against Jewish soldiers and settlers. Photo by Mohammad Tamim/UPI | License Photo
Sept. 1 (UPI) -- A Palestinian man was killed in the crossfire Friday when an Israeli Defense Forces raid in northern West Bank erupted into violence.
Abd al-Rahim Fayez Ghannem, 36, died after being shot in the head by troops in the town of Aqaba, on the outskirts of Tubas, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health.
The raid began Friday morning, when two Israeli patrol units swept into the village in the Menashe region in search of two fugitives suspected in a shooting in early August.
Israeli soldiers surrounded a hideout with several gunmen inside before opening fire with rocket-launchers and hand grenades in an effort to smoke out the men.
Instead they returned fire.
The resulting exchange left the hideout riddled with bullet holes and gouged by missiles.
When the smoke cleared, Israeli troops swept the building and found military equipment, several handguns and two homemade bombs.
The IDF shared several images from the raid on Twitter, showing the weapons.
The two fugitives got away briefly but were later arrested in another sweep, the military said.
Officials did not reveal the identities of the suspects and have not provided any further details.
The episode happened as the Israeli military was still seeking to make an arrest in an Aug. 2 shooting at Hamra junction in northern Jordan Valley that left one woman injured.
Violence has surged across the West Bank in recent months as the Israeli military continues an effort to root out terrorism networks in the Palestinian territory, which has led to daily reprisals against Jewish soldiers and settlers.
Israeli soldiers have conducted more than 2,000 raids throughout the West Bank since the beginning of the year, while thwarting more than 470 terror attacks, according to the Israeli defense ministry.
On Thursday, an off-duty Israeli soldier was killed and six others injured in a truck-ramming incident near Modi'in.
Another four soldiers were hurt the night before when Palestinians blew up a cache of explosives in the West Bank city of Nablus, while a Palestinian teenager was accused of stabbing and wounding an Israeli man at a rail station in Jerusalem the same day.
Earlier Wednesday, Israeli troops shot and wounded a Palestinian man after his car rammed a police cruiser near the southern West Bank city of Hebron, injuring an officer.
In July, Israeli Defense Forces shot and killed a Palestinian man who opened fire on soldiers after his car was ordered to stop on a major highway between two hostile settlements in the West Bank.
At least 27 Israeli civilians and three IDF soldiers have been killed in retaliatory strikes since the start of 2023, while many other Jewish citizens have been maimed and wounded in ongoing attacks.
The United Nations says this year has been the deadliest for Palestinians -- more than 200 deaths -- since 2006, when it began recording the fatalities.