Israeli army says it killed senior Hamas militant in West Bank
Israeli soldiers shot dead a senior member of the militant Islamist Hamas organization during an arrest raid in the northern West Bank city of Tulkarm overnight, the Israeli military said Friday.
A military spokeswoman in Tel Aviv said forces arrived at the house of Iyad Assad Ahmed Abu Salamia, who she said had previously been jailed in Israel for militant activity, to arrest him, DPA reported
But when the commandos called on him to freeze, he ran toward them and they opened fire, fearing he was armed, and killed him, she said.
The details of the incident were still being investigated, she added.
The death comes as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas held a second round of direct negotiations in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el-Sheikh and in Jerusalem this week, as part of a long-awaited revival of the peace process earlier this month.
The new negotiations were overshadowed by a surge in rocket and mortar fire by Palestinian militants from Gaza and by Israeli artillery and airstrikes in retaliation, which killed at least three Palestinians since the weekend.
Israeli-Palestinian violence in the West Bank however has become rare and the fatal Israeli raid was the first there in months.
The Israeli military meanwhile closed off key roads in the West Bank to Palestinian traffic, allowing no Palestinian workers to enter Israel to prevent possible attacks by militants during the Yom Kippur holiday, or Day of Atonement, which starts at sundown Friday and is the most holy day on the Jewish calendar.
Public life and shops shut down from the early afternoon and traffic comes to a standstill with even highways empty of cars, as religious Jews pray for forgiveness for sins committed during the past Jewish calender year.