Palestinian militant 'plotting attack in Israel' shot dead by Swat team in West Bank


A Palestinian militant reportedly planning an attack against Israel was killed in clashes with Israeli soldiers in the West Bank on 6 March.

Police said 31-year-old Basil al-Araj was leading a group that was planning attacks against Israeli targets and collected weapons for the group, the Associated Press reported. Al-Araj was also known to the Palestinian authorities, who detained him last year for about a month.

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Police described the operation as involving a Swat team and the military who entered Ramallah to arrest al-Araj for terrorism. As they entered his residence, police said he opened fired and a shootout ensued.

Al-Araj was killed and two other Palestinians with him were injured, while the Israelis did not suffer any injuries.

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"Two Palestinians have been wounded in the lower body and evacuated for medical treatment," the Israeli police said in a statement on Twitter. The authorities said two firearms were found on the scene of the shootout.

The West Bank is under limited self-rule of the Palestinian Authority, which confirmed the death and the name of the man through its health ministry, adding that the body had been retained by Israeli authorities, Reuters reported.

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According to the militant Palestinian group Hamas, which controls the Gaza strip, two of its lawmakers were also arrested by Israeli forces in the West Bank.

Since October 2015, at least 237 Palestinians have been killed in Israel and the Palestinian territories. According to Israel, at least 159 of those killed were militants who launched stabbing, shooting and ramming attacks, while the others died during clashes and protests. Two American tourists and 37 Israelis were killed in the same period.

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