Palestinian shooting suspect killed after Israeli forces bombard West Bank home

Published July 27th, 2016 - 09:00 GMT
Palestinian stone throwers clash with Israeli security forces following Friday prayers on Friday, in West Bank town of Hebron. (AFP/File)
Palestinian stone throwers clash with Israeli security forces following Friday prayers on Friday, in West Bank town of Hebron. (AFP/File)

Israeli forces killed a Palestinian man and injured five others in the village of Surif north of Hebron overnight Tuesday, after Israeli soldiers bombarded and destroyed a house he was fortified in, with the Israeli army saying the man was responsible for a deadly drive-by shooting on July 1.

Spokesperson for the Israeli army Avichay Adraee said in a statement in Arabic that Israeli troops exchanged fire with Muhammad Faqih after surrounding the house.

The Israeli soldiers, he said, fired several anti-tank missiles at the house after the “terrorist” started to return fire. A bulldozer from the Israeli army’s engineering corps then demolished the house before Faqih was killed. 

It remained unclear by what means Israeli forces ultimately killed Faqih. 

Eyewitnesses told Ma’an they saw the body of Faqih in the bucket of an Israeli army bulldozer that pulled him out of the rubble.

The Palestinian Ministry of Health reported that five Palestinians were shot with rubber-coated bullets during clashes in Surif.

Adraee confirmed that a Palestinian woman sustained minor wounds during the military attack and was taken to a hospital for treatment, adding in that a Kalashnikov machine gun and a grenade were found in the house. 

Locals said Israeli forces detained four Palestinians from Surif during the raid, identified as Ahmad Ibrahim al-Hur, Diyaa Khalid Ghneimat, and Muhammad Ali al-Heeh -- the owner of the demolished house in which Faqih was hiding. Al-Heeh’s mother was also detained.

Adraee confirmed three Palestinians were detained for their alleged involvement in the attack. 

Faqih himself was from the village of Dura in southern Hebron.

Later Wednesday morning, a general strike was announced in Dura and its surrounding villages in southern of Hebron in mourning for Faqih, with all shops and organizations closing.
Adraee's statement alleged that Faqih was the gunman who carried out a shooting attack on on route 60 between the illegal Israeli settlements of Beit Hagai and Otniel south of Hebron, which killed Otniel resident Michael Marc, critically injured his wife Chava, with two of their children, Pdaya, 15, and Tehila, 14, sustaining moderate and light wounds, respectively.

Since the deadly shooting attack on July 1, which came a day after a fatal stab attack in the Hebron-area settlement of Kiryat Arba, Israeli forces launched a widespread manhunt for the gunman.

The closures that were imposed across the district of Hebron have amounted to the most extensive lockdown on the occupied West Bank since 2014.

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