RAMALLAH, West Bank (AP) — The Israeli military on Thursday killed a Palestinian gunman during an arrest raid in the West Bank, the latest in a recent string of deadly violence between Israelis and Palestinians in the area.
The overnight shooting came hours after a Palestinian was killed in a separate arrest raid elsewhere in the West Bank.
In Thursday's incident, the military said it sent troops into the town of Qalqilya to arrest a gunman who had fired at Israeli forces on a number of occasions. It said the man opened fire at the troops, who retaliated and killed him.
A Palestinian security officer identified the dead man as Saleh Yasin, an intelligence officer in the Palestinian security forces. The officer spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to discuss the incident with the media.
The military said a gun and ammunition were found at the scene.
In a separate incident, the ruling Fatah party of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas fired a lawmaker for slapping Jibril Rajoub, a senior member of the movement. The incident, along with an attempted shooting of a Palestinian Cabinet minister, highlighted the infighting and deep divisions plaguing Fatah.
Fatah official Sultan Abu al-Enein said the party's central committee met on Wednesday night to discuss the slapping incident and decided to fire lawmaker Jamal Abu Rub. "That is a huge violation of Fatah regulations. Attacking a Fatah Central Committee member is very serious and unacceptable," he told the Voice of Palestine radio station.
A security official said Abu Rub slapped Rajoub in a luxury hotel on Wednesday as officials prepared for the arrival of the visiting Chinese foreign minister. The official, speaking on condition of anonymity because he was not permitted to discuss the incident, said Abu Rub had been slapped by Rijoub's body guard a few months ago. "It's an apparent reprisal," he said.
Fatah leaders in Abu Rub's hometown of Qabatiya resigned to protest his dismissal, the group said.
Late Wednesday, gunmen opened fire at the office of Religious Affairs Minister Mahmoud Habbash.
Adnan Damiri, a spokesman for the security services, said the gunmen fled in a car, and officials were investigating. "It's a clear assassination attempt," he said. Habbash wasn't hurt.
Habbash is the third Fatah official to be targeted by gunmen in recent weeks.
Associated Press writer Tia Goldenberg contributed to this report from Jerusalem.