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Palestinian martyred in West Bank as violence heats up

Palestinian martyred in West Bank as violence heats up
April 1, 2022 Web Desk

HEBRON (AFP) - Israeli forces martyred a Palestinian on Friday during clashes in the flashpoint occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the latest in a surge of violence, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

The clashes come amid heightened tensions ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, and as days of deadly violence in Israel and the occupied West Bank have raised fears of an escalation.

Clashes erupted in the centre of Hebron between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces, an AFP journalist said. A 29-year-old Palestinian was shot and martyred 'with live ammunition', the ministry said in a brief statement.

The Palestinian Wafa news agency identified the man as Ahmad al-Atrash, who it said was taking part in a protest against Israeli settlements and had previously served six years in an Israeli prison.

Hebron, the biggest city in the West Bank, is home to about 1,000 Jewish residents living under heavy Israeli military protection, among more than 200,000 Palestinians.

It hosts a disputed holy site, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarch, which is revered by both faiths. Islamist movement Hamas, which rules the Gaza Strip, said it was "mourning" Atrash who had spent years in Israeli jails.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it also treated 70 people wounded in clashes with the Israeli army in the Nablus area of the northern West Bank.