Israeli forces kill Palestinian in Nablus amid West Bank violence

At least four Palestinians suffer gunshot wounds in latest clashes

Israeli soldiers engage in a search operation for wanted Palestinians in the occupied West Bank village of Orif, south of Nablus. AFP
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One person was shot dead by Israeli forces in the occupied West Bank city of Nablus before dawn on Thursday, the Palestinian Health Ministry has said.

The shootings came as Palestinian fighters confronted Israeli soldiers and settlers in the area.

At least four Palestinians suffered gunshot wounds and two were in serious condition, said the Palestinian Red Crescent, in what it described as clashes with Israeli forces in eastern Nablus.

The northern West Bank city has been a rocked by frequent and fatal Israeli army raids and gun battles this year.

The Nablus battalion of the Al Quds Brigades, the armed wing of the Islamic Jihad group, said its members were "fighting the occupation forces and groups of settlers who had stormed the area of Joseph's Tomb", referring to a shrine in the city where repeated clashes between Palestinians and Israeli forces have taken place.

The Israeli military did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Violence in the West Bank has worsened over the past 15 months, with increased Israeli raids, Palestinian street attacks and settler rampages in Palestinian villages.

More than 150 Palestinians have killed by Israeli fire since the start of this year in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem, the Associated Press has said.

Right-wing ministers of Israel's government have also contributed to heightened tensions, calling for the rapid expansion of Israeli settlements in the West Bank and harsher action against suspected Palestinian militants.

Last month, the government introduced new legislation to accelerate Israeli settlement construction.

National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir also visited Al Aqsa compound in East Jerusalem, angering both the Palestinians and Jordan, which oversees holy sites in the city.

Palestine's Foreign Ministry on Thursday renewed calls for international protection against Israeli incursions in Jerusalem, "particularly Al Aqsa" and holy sites in the West Bank.

The Palestinians want to establish an independent state in the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza, territories Israel occupied in the 1967 war.

US-sponsored statehood talks collapsed in 2014 and show no sign of revival while Israel has maintained military rule over millions of Palestinians and expanded West Bank settlements, which most countries deem as illegal.

Updated: July 20, 2023, 12:14 PM