Israeli Forces Kill Wanted Palestinian in Raid

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JERUSALEM -- Israeli forces fatally shot a Palestinian man they had been sent to arrest in a refugee camp early Tuesday, according to the Israeli military and relatives of the man.

The shooting, in the Jenin camp in the northern West Bank, was the latest in a series of deadly raids that have strained the atmosphere around nascent Israeli-Palestinian peace talks.

The Israeli military said that the man, Islam Husam al-Toubasi, 21, was a "wanted terror activist" and that he was shot as he tried to flee and Palestinians hurled rocks, firebombs and improvised grenades at Israeli soldiers. Mr. Toubasi died later in an Israeli hospital.

He was a member of Islamic Jihad, a militant group, according to his cousin Muhammad Rida Toubasi. The cousin said special Israeli units raided Mr. Toubasi's house, where he had been sleeping on the roof; witnesses said that is where he was shot.

"Now it is very tense, and people are very angry," the cousin said by telephone.

Other family members told the Palestinian news media that soldiers blew open the door of the house, went up to the roof and shot Mr. Toubasi in the foot before dragging him out of the house. They accused the army of deliberately killing him.

The Palestinian news reports said several other Palestinians were injured by Israeli gunfire during the clashes, including a 13-year-old boy who was shot in the leg.

The Israeli military account was different. It said its forces initially responded with riot dispersal tactics and only began firing toward the lower extremities of what it called the main instigators of the clashes "once rioters began shooting at the forces, upon feeling an imminent threat to their lives."

"The attack against the forces warranted a forceful response in self-defense," Lt. Col. Peter Lerner, a military spokesman, said in a statement, adding that the military would "review the circumstances of the shooting that led to the death of the terror suspect."

In August, Israeli soldiers killed two Palestinian men in similar circumstances, when the soldiers entered the Jenin camp to arrest another Islamic Jihad member and clashed with residents. A few days later, violent clashes broke out during another arrest raid in the Qalandiya refugee camp, between Jerusalem and the West Bank city of Ramallah; three Palestinian men were killed in that episode.

The Qalandiya deaths disrupted the meetings of Israeli and Palestinian peace negotiators that were scheduled for that day.

The two sides met on Monday, but Palestinian officials have complained that the talks, held in secrecy, have so far shown no progress.

world

This article originally appeared in The New York Times.


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