In latest violence, 18-year-old Palestinian killed during Israeli military raid

JERUSALEM (AP) — Israeli security forces killed an 18-year-old Palestinian during a military raid into the northern West Bank on Friday, Palestinian health officials said, the latest bloodshed in a monthslong surge of violence in the occupied territory.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Mahmoud Abu Saan was shot in the head by Israeli forces in the city of Tulkarem. The raid sparked fighting with residents of the camp, the local branch of Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group reported, with Israeli forces shooting tear gas, stun grenades and live fire and Palestinians hurling stones and opening fire at the soldiers.

The Israeli army said soldiers shot at Palestinians in Tulkarem who threw stones and explosives at them. Violence has spiraled in the northern West Bank with the rise of shooting attacks by Palestinian groups against Israelis and daily arrest raids by the Israeli military, and Tulkarem has emerged as a stronghold of local militants.

Palestinian media reported that three wanted residents were arrested during Friday’s raid into the town.

The Tulkarem raid was part of an Israeli military arrest operation overnight. The army said it arrested five Palestinians in other West Bank villages, confiscating explosives and dispersing protests in the village Biddu near the West Bank city of Ramallah.

The surge in West Bank violence, which shows no signs of abating, is one of the worst between Israelis and Palestinians in nearly two decades. More than 150 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire since the start of 2023 in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, according to a tally by The Associated Press.

At least 26 people have been killed in Palestinian attacks against Israelis so far this year.

Violence between Israel and the Palestinians in the West Bank intensified early last year when Israel expanded near-nightly raids into Palestinian areas in response to a spate of Palestinian attacks against Israelis.

Israel says most killed have been militants who died during military raids, but stone-throwing youths protesting army raids and innocent bystanders have also been killed.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Mideast war, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem. Palestinians seek those territories for their hoped-for independent state.

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