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Israeli forces kill Palestinian man during Birzeit arrest raid

Feb. 27, 2014 12:09 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 28, 2014 6:23 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man on Thursday after opening fire on a property in Birzeit, locals said.

Muatazz Washaha, 24, was found dead inside the house following a stand-off between Israeli military forces which lasted several hours.

Witnesses said that the victim was hit in the head by a rifle-fired Energa shell.

Israeli forces were reportedly trying to arrest Muatazz for being an activist with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine.

During the dawn raid, Israeli forces stormed the house and detained his brother, Ramiz Washaha, as well as Fadi Sedqi and Samir al-Qaisi. Earlier reports suggested Israeli forces were targeting another brother, Thaer.

Palestinian Authority Minister of Detainees, Issa Qaraqe, said Israeli troops raided Birzeit at around 3 a.m.

Qaraqe said that Fadi Washaha, his cousin, was also arrested and his family was assaulted.

Palestinian firefighters rushed to the scene after the house caught on fire as a result of Israeli artillery shelling. A large part of the house was destroyed after it was shelled by Israeli forces.

An Israeli army spokeswoman said that Israeli forces raided Birzeit to arrest a man suspected of "terror activity."

"After the suspect was called to turn himself in, he barricaded himself inside his house, effectively resisting arrest. Under the premise that he had weapons in his possession, the forces used different means to complete the arrest, including live fire."

An AK47 assault rifle was found in the house, but no shots were fired at any point towards Israeli forces.

The suspect was found dead in the property, the army spokeswoman added.

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