Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and injured five others in the village of Surif north of Hebron overnight Tuesday, after Israeli soldiers bombarded and destroyed a house he was fortified in, with the Israeli army saying the man was responsible for a deadly drive-by shooting on July 1, Reuters reported.
Flames were seen during a raid by Israeli forces on a house in which Palestinian Hamas fighter Mohammad al-Fakih was hiding out in the West Bank village of Surif,
The Palestinian fighter was killed in an overnight raid in the territory, during which residents of the Palestinian village of Surif, near the city of Hebron, reported lengthy exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and gunmen.
In a statement, the military said that security forces killed the man responsible for the July 1 attack that killed Rabbi Michael Mark. Mark was shot from a moving vehicle as he drove in his car.
The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Surif.
Adraee confirmed that a Palestinian woman sustained minor wounds during the military attack and was taken to a hospital for treatment, adding that a Kalashnikov machine gun and a grenade were found in the house.
Locals said Israeli forces detained four Palestinians from Surif during the raid, identified as Ahmad Ibrahim al-Hur, Diyaa Khalid Ghneimat, and Muhammad Ali al-Heeh — the owner of the demolished house in which Faqih was hiding. Al-Heeh’s mother was also detained.
Adraee confirmed three Palestinians were detained for their alleged involvement in the attack.
Faqih himself was from the village of Dura in southern Hebron.
Later Wednesday morning, a general strike was announced in Dura and its surrounding villages in southern of Hebron in mourning for Faqih, with all shops and organizations closing.
The Islamic Resistence Movement (Hamas) identified the man that was killed in the raid as Mohammad al-Fakih and it said he was a member of its armed wing, the al-Qassam Brigades. The house in which Fakih was hiding out was damaged during the fighting and then demolished by an Israeli bulldozer.
Villages in Hebron that have been completely sealed over the past month included Sair, Yatta, and Bani Naim. Some 2,700 Palestinian residents of Bani Naim had their travel permits revoked.
Scores of Palestinians have also been detained in overnight raids in Hebron, and dozens of others injured during clashes between locals and Israeli forces.
According to the UN, 50 Palestinians, including 14 children, were injured by Israeli forces during clashes in the West Bank between July 5 and 11 — almost all during detention raids, the largest of which took place in Dura, which resulted in 38 injuries. In the same week, Israeli forces conducted 98 search and detention operations and arrested 95 Palestinians, with Hebron accounting for the highest number of operations and arrests.
Israeli rights group B’Tselem has accused Israeli soldiers and police officers of acting as “judge, jury and executioner” for Palestinians during the past few months of unrest, also blaming official encouragement and effective impunity for Israeli forces.
There had been a relative lull in violence prior to the deadly events of June 30 and July 1 in Hebron — and in the same 48 hours another Palestinian was killed while allegedly carrying out an attack in Israel, while a Palestinian man died during clashes at Qalandiya checkpoint –however, three Palestinians have been shot dead by Israeli forces since.
A 22-year-old Palestinian was killed in al-Ram north of Jerusalem when he and two friends driving in the area stumbled upon an ongoing Israeli army raid in the area on July 13, a Palestinian was fatally shot on July 18 after he allegedly carried out a stabbing attack outside of the al-Arrub refugee camp on Route 60, and on Tuesday, a 12-year-old Palestinian was killed during clashes with Israeli soldiers al-Ram.
Hebron City and its surrounding villages, in particular, have grown as the epicenter of upheaval since violence increased in October, where tensions run high between local Palestinians living among an expanding settler population. The Old City area is home to 30,000 Palestinians and around 800 Israeli settlers who live under the protection of Israeli forces. Hebron residents frequently report attacks and harassment by the settlers, carried out in the presence of the forces.
Since October, at least 205 Palestinians have been killed, 139 of whom Israel said were assailants. Others died during clashes and protests while at least 33 Israelis and two visiting Americans have been killed.