JERUSALEM — Israeli forces shot and killed a 19-year-old Palestinian man when clashes broke out during a military raid on a refugee camp in the Bethlehem area of the West Bank early on Tuesday, the military and local Palestinians said.
Palestinian officials identified the dead man as Jihad Jaafari, a resident of the Deheishe refugee camp.
A spokeswoman for the Israeli military said the forces “encountered a violent crowd that was hurling stones, blocks and firebombs at them.” After attempts at crowd dispersal failed and the forces felt their lives were in danger, she said, they “fired towards an instigator.”
An Israeli soldier was wounded during the disturbances.
The Palestinian Authority governor of the Bethlehem area, Jibreen al-Bakri, said that the Israeli soldiers had come to arrest a camp resident and denied that Mr. Jaafari had been involved in the violence, accusing the Israeli troops of killing him without provocation.
“This 19-year-old young man was asleep in his house, but when he heard the noise, he went to his roof to see what was happening,” Mr. Bakri told Voice of Palestine radio.
“Israeli snipers immediately opened fire and shot him in cold blood,” he said.
Tensions between Israel and the Palestinian Authority have been rising in recent weeks. Israel last month began to withhold more than $100 million in monthly tax revenue it collects on behalf of the authority in response to the Palestinian leadership’s move to join the International Criminal Court.
Against the background of the worsening financial crisis in the authority, Israel’s state-owned electricity company briefly reduced the power supply to two Palestinian districts in the northern West Bank on Monday because of ballooning debt.
There has also been a wave of attacks against Israelis in recent months by Palestinians using knives, guns and vehicles as weapons. On Sunday, the mayor of Jerusalem, Nir Barkat, helped his bodyguard subdue an 18-year-old Palestinian youth who had just stabbed and wounded an Israeli man near City Hall.
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