By Kaamil Ahmed
JERUSALEM (AA): A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli forces during a raid in the occupied West Bank overnight Sunday.
The Israeli army said the Palestinian was killed in an exchange of fire during an arrest mission in Ramallah.
The raid took place in the al-Biereh town, near the central West Bank city of Ramallah.
Palestinian health ministry identified the dead Palestinian as Basel al-Araj, 31.
Eyewitnesses said the soldiers surrounded a house, where al-A’raj was hiding, in Qaddoura refugee camp, and exchanged fire with him for more than two hours, until he ran out of ammunition.
They added that the soldiers stormed the building and killed the Palestinian from a close range, then dragged his body from his feet for a distance, leaving a blood trail, and took his corpse to an unknown destination.
Clashes also took place between the invading soldiers, and dozens of local youths, who hurled stones and empty bottles on them, while the army fired many live rounds, rubber-coated steel bullets and gas bombs.
Medical sources in Ramallah said two Palestinians were shot by army fire, and were moved to a local hospital.
Bassel was a pharmacist who graduated from an Egyptian university, and worked in this profession near Jerusalem.
He was a historian and a writer who documented the ongoing Palestinian revolutions, starting in the 1930’s against the British occupation, and worked with various youth groups introducing them to the history of Palestine, including through trips to historic sites.
He also wrote several detailed articles in support of resistance against the Israeli occupation, and calling for completely boycotting Israel in Palestine, and around the world.
Israeli police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld described al-Araj as the head of a cell that planned attacks against Israelis.
According to the Israeli army, two firearms were seized during the raid.
Regular raids by the Israeli army and police units in the occupied West Bank are controversial because they often involve incursions into Area A, which was designated as solely under the remit of Palestinian security forces in the Oslo peace accords.
Since October of 2015, more than 265 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces – either during alleged attacks on Israelis or in clashes with Israeli forces, according to official Palestinian figures.
Israeli authorities say at least 47 Israelis have been killed by Palestinians over the same period.
Additional report from imemc.org
[Photo: An inside view of Basil Al-Araj’s house after Israeli soldiers stormed into and open fire on Basil Al-Araj’s house, 31, in Ramallah, West Bank on March 6, 2017. Photographer: Muhabiri Issam Rimawi/AA]