Palestinian shot dead after opening fire on soldiers in West Bank

A Palestinian gunman opened fire at Israeli soldiers on the outskirts of Ramallah in the occupied West Bank, wounding three of them before being shot dead, officials said.

The Israeli army said on Monday the gunman “opened fire at forces at the scene, injuring three soldiers. In response to the immediate threat, forces shot the assailant.” The Palestinian health ministry confirmed the man had died.

A Palestinian security source identified the gunman as Mohammad Turkman, 25, and said he was a police officer in Ramallah, although that had not been officially confirmed.

Medics reported that one of the wounded was severely hurt with a gunshot wound to his “lower extremities”. The two others “sustained light injuries to their limbs due to ricochet caused by the fire”, said the Israeli rescue service, Magen David Adom.

The Israeli military distributed a picture of what it said was the weapon used, which looked similar to an AK-47 assault rifle. The shooting occurred at a checkpoint at the entrance to Ramallah and near the Israeli settlement of Beit El.

A spokesman for the Islamist movement Hamas, which governs the Gaza Strip, hailed the shooting in a statement, calling it heroic and “a strong message in the face of Israeli crimes”. Sami Abu Zuhri also called for “more involvement from Palestinian security officers in the Palestinian intifada” or uprising.

Palestinian security officers have been involved in at least two other attacks over the past year. Israel has seen a wave of Palestinian knife, gun and car-ramming attacks since last year, but the violence has significantly declined in recent months. Since October last year, the violence has claimed the lives of 237 Palestinians, 36 Israelis, two Americans, a Jordanian, an Eritrean and a Sudanese, according to a count by Agence France-Presse.

Most of the Palestinians killed were carrying out attacks, according to Israeli authorities. Others were shot dead during protests and clashes, while some were killed by airstrikes in the Gaza Strip. Most of the attacks were by carried out by assailants who acted alone, many of them young people, including teenagers.

( Source )