A Palestinian man prematurely set off a bomb he apparently intended to use in a suicide attack inside Israel.

Palestinian security forces say the blast went off Sunday as the man was carrying a bomb from a village close to the West Bank city of Nablus.

The man was blown to pieces but no one else was injured in the explosion.

A spokesman for the Israeli military says the bomber was believed to be on his way in to Israel to blow himself up when the premature explosion occurred.

In more than 39 months of Israeli-Palestinian violence, some 500 Israelis have been killed in more than 100 suicide bombings. The last one occurred on December 25 when four Israelis were killed near Tel Aviv.

In a separate incident Sunday, Israeli soldiers shot dead a Palestinian youth during clashes in the center of Nablus.

The Israeli Army says that the youth was preparing to hurl a gasoline bomb at the troops who then opened fire.