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Israeli soldiers shoot Palestinian ‘firebomber’

Palestinian Fatima Sbeih, mother of of 21-year-old Muhammad Ali Ahmed Ghoneim, who was killed Sunday by the Israeli army, cries during his funeral in the West Bank village of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, Monday, April 11, 2022 (Nasser Nasser/AP)
Palestinian Fatima Sbeih, mother of of 21-year-old Muhammad Ali Ahmed Ghoneim, who was killed Sunday by the Israeli army, cries during his funeral in the West Bank village of Al-Khader, south of Bethlehem, Monday, April 11, 2022 (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Israeli forces shot and killed a Palestinian man they say was throwing a firebomb at a vehicle driving on a West Bank highway late on Sunday.

The killing occurred near the city of Bethlehem in the occupied West Bank, and is the latest in a growing wave of violence that has erupted during the Islamic holy month of Ramadan.

The shooting raises to four the number of Palestinians killed in the past 24 hours, among them an unarmed woman who was shot and killed at a military checkpoint near Bethlehem.

Ramadan this year converges with major Jewish and Christian holidays. Protests and clashes in Jerusalem during Ramadan last year boiled over into an 11-day war between Israel and Gaza militants.

Israel Palestinians
Women mourners look out towards Palestinian gunmen shooting in the air during the funeral of 21-year-old Muhammad Ali Ahmed Ghoneim, at his family house in the West Bank (Nasser Nasser/AP)

Israel has stepped up its military activity in the West Bank after Palestinian assailants killed 14 Israelis in four deadly attacks inside Israel in recent weeks. At the same time, it has taken a series of steps to try to calm the situation, including granting thousands of Palestinians from the Hamas-run Gaza Strip permits to work inside Israel.

The Israeli military said on Monday it arrested 13 Palestinians suspected of militant activity in the West Bank, and that during the arrest operations Palestinians threw rocks at troops and burned tyres.

Palestinian health officials identified the man killed in the latest shooting as 21-year-old Muhammad Ali Ahmed Ghoneim.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa reported that Mohammed Zakarna, 17, died on Monday after he was wounded by Israeli fire in the West Bank city of Jenin a day earlier.

Israeli forces patrolled Jenin, considered a stronghold of Palestinian militants, on Sunday as soldiers investigated the home of an attacker who killed three Israelis in a mass shooting last week. The army said soldiers came under fire from a gunman on a motorcycle and shot him.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether Mohammed Zakarna was shot during that incident.

Earlier on Sunday, Israeli forces shot and killed two Palestinian women. The Israeli army said one had stabbed and lightly wounded a policeman in the city of Hebron. The other was an unarmed woman who it said ignored warning shots and calls to stop as she approached a checkpoint near Bethlehem.

The European Union’s diplomatic mission to the Palestinian territories accused Israel of using unacceptable excessive force in fatally shooting the unarmed woman. “This incidence must be swiftly investigated and the perpetrators be brought to justice,” it wrote on Twitter.

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