NABLUS: Israeli troops shot dead a Palestinian in the city of Nablus on the fifth day of military operations in the occupied West Bank, the Palestinian health ministry said Wednesday.

“The young man, Muhammad Hassan Muhammad Assaf, 34, died after being shot in the chest by the Israeli occupation army during the aggression on the city of Nablus,” the ministry said.

The Israeli army did not immediately comment but had said earlier that troops were “conducting counterterrorist operations” in Nablus and other West Bank cities.

The Palestinian Red Crescent medical service reported 31 people injured at the site and in a nearby village, including 10 people hit with live fire.

The Israeli military has stepped up raids and arrests across the West Bank after four attacks in Israel in the past three weeks left 14 people dead, including in a shooting rampage last week in the heart of the coastal metropolis of Tel Aviv.

Israeli forces have killed 16 Palestinians, including assailants, in the same period, according to an AFP count.
The Palestinian Prisoners Club meanwhile reported 14 new arrests overnight across the West Bank.

Israeli public radio said troops entered Nablus to escort Israeli workers who are to repair damage done by Palestinians days ago to a site Jews revere as the tomb of Joseph.

Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett has vowed that “we will not abide such an assault on a place that is holy to us — on the eve of Passover.”