Israeli troops killed a Palestinian man during an army raid in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, Palestinian health officials said, the latest incident in a yearlong wave of violence that has surged to levels unseen in the territory in some two decades.
Israel has pressed on with near-nightly raids in the West Bank and amid a spike in attacks by Palestinians against Israelis in recent weeks, including a car-ramming at a major West Bank checkpoint and a shooting at a car wash.
The military said troops destroyed an explosives stockpile in the Nour Shams refugee camp in the northern West Bank on Tuesday. During the operation, soldiers came under attack from armed gunmen and returned fire, the army said.
The Palestinian health ministry said that a 21-year-old man died from a bullet wound to the head. The Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group later claimed the man as its member.
A video of the incident released by the military appeared to show a massive fireball erupting from a building. Another unconfirmed amateur video appeared to show an explosion beneath an Israeli military bulldozer.
Palestinian assaults against Israelis have spiked in parallel to Israel’s intensification of arrest raids in the West Bank. More than 30 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis since the start of 2023.
The raids, which were stepped up early last year, have fuelled tensions in the region and have ushered in some of the worst fighting between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank since the last Palestinian uprising in the early 2000s.
More than 180 Palestinians have been killed in the violence, with nearly half of them affiliated with militant groups, according to a tally by The Associated Press. Israel says most of those killed were militants, but stone-throwing youths protesting the incursions as well as people not involved in the confrontations have also died.
Israel says the raids are meant to dismantle militant networks and thwart future attacks. Palestinians say the raids undermine their security forces, inspire more militancy and entrench Israeli control over lands they seek for a hoped-for future state.
Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with east Jerusalem and the Gaza Strip.