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Palestinian shot dead by Israeli forces: Palestinian ministry

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A Palestinian worker was shot dead by Israeli forces on Sunday while crossing a security barrier in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian sources said.

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The Palestinian health ministry identified the man killed as Nabil Ghanem, 53, from the West Bank city of Nablus.

The official Palestinian news agency Wafa said Ghanem was among the tens of thousands of West Bank Palestinians who regularly seek work in Israel.

An Israeli army spokesperson said forces had shot at “a suspect who vandalized the security fence.”

Wages on Israeli farms and construction sites are far higher than what most Palestinian employers can pay in the West Bank, a territory occupied by Israeli since 1967.

Jobs inside Israel are highly coveted by many Palestinians. Some have permits to work in Israel while others seek to cross without authorization.

Ghanem’s killing comes amid a spike in Israeli-Palestinian violence.

Nineteen people, mostly Israeli civilians -- including 18 inside Israel and a Jewish settler -- have been killed in attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs since late March.

Israeli security forces have responded with raids inside Israel and in the West Bank, particularly in and around Jenin. Three Israeli Arab attackers and an Israeli police commando have been killed.

Forty-five Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank -- suspected militants but also non-combatants, including an Al Jazeera journalist who was covering a raid in Jenin.

Tensions have recently flared again since three Palestinians, members of armed factions, were killed Friday by Israeli forces during an army raid in Jenin.

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