Israeli national found dead after being shot in West Bank Palestinian town

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RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — An Israeli was shot dead in a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank Saturday morning, Israel’s army said, while deadly strikes rocked northern Gaza.

The army said a man was pronounced dead after being shot in the town of Qalqilya, and that Israeli troops were currently operating in the area. The day before, Israeli forces shot dead two militants in the same West Bank town.

No further details were made public.

Violence has flared in the the West Bank since the Israel-Hamas war erupted last October. Since then, at least 549 Palestinians in the territory have been killed by Israeli fire say the Palestinian Health Ministry, which tracks the killings. Over that same time, Palestinians in the West Bank have killed at least nine Israelis, including five soldiers, according to U.N. data.

In a separate event, the Palestinian Civil Defense, an emergency group active in Gaza, said they pulled 19 dead bodies from a building hit by an Israeli strike in an eastern neighborhood of Gaza City on Saturday. The group said its emergency workers were also digging for survivors at the site of another strike in Shati Refugee camp, west of Gaza City. The Associated Press has been unable to verify the figures provided by the emergency group.

The Israeli army said its fighter jets struck two Hamas military sites in the Gaza City area, but did not elaborate further.

The Israel-Hamas war erupted on Oct. 7. when Hamas militants stormed southern Israel and killed around 1,200 people and took hostage some 250 others. Israel has responded by bombarding and invading the enclave, killing over 37, 400 Palestinians there according to Gaza’s Health Ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Israeli nationals are prohibited from entering Qalqilya and other areas of the West Bank that fall under the under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

In April, the death of a 14-year-old Israeli settler sparked a series of settler attacks on Palestinian towns in the territory. The The army said the boy was murdered, and later arrested a Palestinian in connection with the killing.

In 2014, the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank escalated tensions and eventually ignited a 50-day Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, at the time the deadliest round of fighting between the two sides.

Over recent years, the PA’s influence in the northern West Bank has waned as militant groups have grown increasingly powerful.

Also Saturday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said a 12-year-old Palestinian boy died from his wounds after being shot by Israeli forces in Ramallah last week. Commenting on the shooting, the Israeli army said its forces raided al-Amari refugee camp near Ramallah to arrest a suspect last Friday and then opened fire on a group of Palestinians who were pelting them with stones.

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

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