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Israeli forces shoot, kill Palestinian during arrest raid

Nov. 26, 2015 9:35 A.M. (Updated: Nov. 26, 2015 7:11 P.M.)
The occupied West Bank town of Qatanna, northwest of Jerusalem, on Nov. 26, 2015. (MaanImages)
RAMALLAH (Ma’an) -- Israeli forces on Thursday killed a 21-year-old Palestinian when clashes broke out during an arrest raid in the town of Qatanna northwest of Jerusalem, the Palestinian Ministry of Health said.

Locals told Ma’an that forces stormed the Palestinian town at dawn, ransacking homes and detaining several residents.

Clashes erupted throughout the streets of Qatanna between young locals and Israeli soldiers carrying out the raid. Locals said that the forces fired live ammunition, rubber-coated steel bullets, and tear gas at the group.

During the clashes, Yahya Yusri Taha was shot in the head and left on the ground bleeding for more than an hour-and-a-half while Israeli soldiers denied Palestinian ambulances access to the young man to administer medical treatment, locals said.

The raid comes as part of an ongoing arrest campaign carried out by Israeli military forces throughout the occupied Palestinian territory.

Qatanna residents told Ma’an that hundreds of Israeli soldiers who entered the town carried out inspections house-to-house, forcibly gathering families in one room of each home while searches were underway.

In some cases, family members -- including children, women and elderly members -- were forced to wait outside of their houses, locals added.

An Israeli army spokesperson told Ma’an that Israeli forces were arresting “suspects” from the town when “violent rioters” threw stones and Molotov cocktails at the forces.

The forces called the “violent mob” to refrain, and “in response to the imminent danger” they opened fire on a “rioter throwing a Molotov cocktail," they added.

The spokesperson was unable to confirm the number of residents detained from Qatanna during the raid.

Search and arrest raids -- this year’s weekly average numbering over 80 according to UN documentation -- have increased since the beginning of last month following attempted, alleged, and actual attacks carried out by Palestinians on Israeli military and civilians.

Human Rights Watch last year criticized Israel for large-scale violations carried out during arrest campaigns. Violations included arbitrary arrest, excessive use of force against residents who did not pose sufficient threat for the lethal use of force, and damage to property and homes.

At least 97 Palestinians have been killed since the start of last month, over 30 of whom died after being shot during clashes with Israeli forces.

Last month two Palestinian residents of Qatannah were shot and killed by Israeli forces following alleged attacks.
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