At least one Palestinian shot dead by Israeli army amid raids and vandalism at holy site

Palestinians allegedly set fire to a shrine revered by Jews and Israeli forces warn of ‘offensive’

Israeli vehicles are positioned at the entrance of the Nur Shams Palestinian refugee camp near in the northern West Bank town of Tulkarem on April 10,2022l, during a raid looking for suspects related to a gunman from Jenin who went on a shooting rampage in a popular Tel Aviv nightlife area on April 7, killing three Israelis and wounding more than a dozen others.  (Photo by JAAFAR ASHTIYEH  /  AFP)
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A woman was shot dead in the occupied West Bank and 20 Palestinians were arrested in overnight raids, Israeli security forces said on Sunday.

The woman killed in the West Bank town of Husan was unarmed, the Israeli military confirmed on Sunday, saying that she had approached a checkpoint "in a suspicious manner."

At least 10 Palestinians were injured during protests against the Israeli presence in Jenin, Jericho and Tulkarem. On Sunday evening, a woman was reportedly shot at the Ibrahimi Mosque and Tomb of the Patriarchs holy site in Hebron, after rioters vandalised Joseph's Tomb in Nablus. Unconfirmed reports on the Hebron shooting said the woman was carrying a knife before being shot dead.

Both sites are considered sacred to Jews and Muslims.

A dozen people have been killed in attacks in Israel in the past few weeks.

Israeli forces say they are pursuing terrorists responsible for the deaths and confirmed on Saturday that at least one suspect had been killed.

They have held several raids in northern parts of the occupied West Bank.

Witnesses reported heavy gunfire during Saturday’s raid, which happened at a refugee camp in Jenin.

The flare-up started after three people were shot dead by a gunman in Tel Aviv on Thursday.

The attacker was killed by the Israeli police. Palestinian president Mahmoud Abbas condemned the attack, but the militant group Hamas released a statement in support of the killings.

On Sunday, the 40-year-old woman who was shot by Israeli troops died in hospital in Beit Jala, near the town of Husan where she was shot approaching a military checkpoint.

Ghada Ibrahim Sabatien was a widowed mother of six, said the Palestinian news agency Wafa.

She had suffered massive blood loss from a torn artery.

The Israeli army said troops fired warning shots into the air when Sabatien approached them near the town of Husan, before they “fired towards the suspect’s lower body”.

The army said it was investigating the incident and that the woman was transferred to the Red Crescent for treatment.

Earlier in the day, Brig Gen Ran Kochav said homes of suspects were being prepared for demolition with explosives, a punitive Israeli policy which has drawn criticism from rights groups.

He told Israeli Army Radio that on Saturday, about 100 Palestinians marched to the site in Nablus known as Joseph’s tomb, rioted and set it alight before being dispersed by Palestinian security forces.

Images on social media showed parts of the tomb inside the shrine smashed and charred.

Some Jews believe the biblical Joseph is buried in the tomb, while Muslims say a sheikh is buried there.

The Israeli army escorts Jewish worshippers to the site several times a year, in co-ordination with Palestinian security forces.

Jenin is considered a stronghold of Palestinian militants. Israeli forces often come under fire when operating in the city.

The Palestinian Authority, which administers parts of the occupied West Bank and co-ordinates with Israel on security matters, appears to have little control.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said more operations would be held.

“We will be at every place at any time as needed to cut out these terrorist attacks. Israel is going on the offensive,” he said.

“There are no restrictions whatsoever on the IDF and Shin Bet and other security forces in the war against terror,” Mr Bennett said, referring to the Israeli army and domestic intelligence service.

Israel has eased some restrictions on Palestinians during Ramadan. But on Saturday, it tightened them on Jenin, imposing a partial lockdown on all residents other than labourers working in Israel.

Rajoub, the governor, called the measures “an expression of collective punishment” that was meant to disrupt the lives of Palestinians rather than thwart attacks.

Updated: April 10, 2022, 5:15 PM