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Palestinian Israeli conflict

Israeli officer killed, 13 Palestinians wounded in Jenin standoff

Published: Updated:

An Israeli officer was shot dead Friday during raids around Jenin on Friday, Israel’s premier said, in the latest unrest to hit the flashpoint camp in the occupied West Bank.

The Palestinian health ministry said 13 Palestinians were also injured during the raids.

“Today we lost a real hero, Noam Raz – a brave (army) fighter ... (during a) complex and sensitive operation against terrorists,” Bennett said in a statement.

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Police said he was injured in Burqin, near Jenin, during a “shootout with terrorists” and later died from his wounds.

The army said it carried out several raids in the West Bank early Friday jointly with police units.

The raids included one in the restive refugee camp of Jenin to investigate the site where veteran Palestinian journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed on Wednesday.

During the Jenin operation, an AFP photographer saw Israeli forces surround the home of a suspect, besieging two men inside and then firing anti-tank grenades at the building in an effort to flush them out.

A near four-hour seige ensued, before the men eventually turned themselves in.

The army said that it used the raid to investigate the spot where Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh was killed on Wednesday.

The army “reconstructed the events at the scene,” according to a military statement.

One of the 13 Palestinians injured was named as Daoud al-Zubaidi, a brother of Zakaria al-Zubaidi, who headed the armed wing of the Fatah movement of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas and briefly escaped from Israeli prison last year.

The raids came hours before violence erupted at Abu Akleh’s funeral, after Israeli police stormed the grounds of a Jerusalem hospital as the body of the slain journalist was being transported for burial.

Israel and the Palestinians have traded blame over the fatal shooting of Abu Akleh.

Tensions are high with a wave of anti-Israeli attacks that have killed at least 18 people since March 22, including an Arab-Israeli police officer and two Ukrainians.

A total of 31 Palestinians and three Israeli Arabs have died during the same period, according to an AFP tally, among them perpetrators of attacks and those killed by Israeli security forces in West Bank operations.

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