On Friday evening, reports from multiple sources indicate that a Palestinian activist and member of the Islamist Hamas movement lost his life in a confrontation with Israeli soldiers in the occupied West Bank.
“Mohammad Jibril Roummaneh died as a result of serious injuries caused by bullets fired by the occupying forces in El-Bireh” northeast of Ramallah, wrote the Palestinian Ministry of Health in a statement.
It reported that a second Palestinian had been injured but gave no details.
The Israeli military said the man was a member of the team of Hamas militants who threw fire bombs at a military post near Psagot, an Israeli settlement.
“Soldiers conducting routine activity at the scene identified the suspects and responded with live fire. Two assailants were neutralized and transferred to receive medical treatment,” it said.
When questioned by AFP, an army spokeswoman would not confirm that one of the two had died, as announced by the Palestinian Authority and Hamas.
Hamas, which controls the Gaza Strip but has strong support in the West Bank as well, claimed the man as a member.
In a statement, Hamas described Roummaneh as one of its members who fell as a “heroic martyr” while “defending the freedom of (his) people” near the settlement of Psagot. The statement was accompanied by an image of a very young man.
Violence in the West Bank has raged for more than a year, amid stepped-up Israeli military raids, increased settler assaults on Palestinian villages, and a spate of Palestinian attacks on Israelis.
At least 242 Palestinians, 32 Israelis, a Ukrainian and an Italian have been killed since the beginning of the year in violence linked to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.