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Israeli national found dead after being shot in West Bank Palestinian town

FILE - Israeli forces remove a body of a man killed during a military operation in the West Bank town of Qabatiya, June 13, 2024.
FILE - Israeli forces remove a body of a man killed during a military operation in the West Bank town of Qabatiya, June 13, 2024.

An Israeli national was found shot dead in a Palestinian town in the northern West Bank on Saturday morning, Israel's army said, as violence surges in the occupied territory.

The army said the man was pronounced dead after being fatally shot in the town of Qalqilya, and that Israeli troops were currently operating in the area. Saturday's announcement came a day after Israeli forces shot dead two militants in the same West Bank town.

No further details were made public.

Violence has flared in the West Bank since the Israel-Hamas war erupted last October. Since then, at least 549 Palestinians in the territory have been killed by Israeli fire say the Palestinian Health Ministry, which tracks the killings. Over that same time, Palestinians in the West Bank have killed at least nine Israelis, including five soldiers, according to U.N. data.

Israeli nationals are prohibited from entering Qalqilya and other areas of the West Bank that fall under the under the control of the Palestinian Authority.

In April, the death of a 14-year-old Israeli settler sparked a series of settler attacks on Palestinian towns in the territory. The army said the boy was murdered and later arrested a Palestinian in connection with the killing.

In 2014, the abduction and killing of three Israeli teens in the West Bank escalated tensions and eventually ignited a 50-day Israel-Hamas war in Gaza, at the time the deadliest round of fighting between the two sides.

Over recent years, the PA’s influence in the northern West Bank has waned as militant groups have grown increasingly powerful.

The Israel-Hamas war erupted on October 7 when Hamas militants stormed southern Israel and killed around 1,200 people and took hostage some 250 others. Israel has responded by bombarding and invading the enclave, killing over 37, 400 Palestinians there according to Gaza’s health ministry, which does not distinguish between combatants and civilians in its count.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and east Jerusalem, in the 1967 Mideast war. The Palestinians seek those territories as part of their hoped-for independent state.