Ramallah, London- After clashes that lasted around eight hours, Israeli occupation forces shot dead on Wednesday a Palestinian who the military said was responsible for an attack that killed a rabbi in a drive-by shooting in the occupied West Bank earlier this month.
Mohammad al-Fakih, 29, was killed in an overnight raid in the territory, during which residents of the Palestinian village of Surif, near the city of Hebron, reported lengthy exchanges of fire between Israeli forces and gunmen.
In a statement, the military said that security forces killed the man responsible for the July 1 attack that killed Rabbi Michael Mark.
It said that the house, where the man was hiding, was struck with anti-tank missiles and then demolished with an earthmover.
Troops found a Kalashnikov rifle, a hand grenade and suicide belt with him, the statement added.
Hamas said in a statement it “hails the Al-Qassam martyr Mohammad Fakih, who was martyred after a gun battle that lasted more than seven hours with occupation forces in Surif.”
The Al-Qassam Brigades are Hamas’ armed wing.
Fakih had served time in Israeli jail for links to the Islamic Jihad movement and joined Hamas while in prison.
The Israeli army reported three arrests over the course of the investigation that began after the July 1 attack that killed the rabbi.
Fakih’s brother and cousin were held on suspicion of helping him to hide after the attack, Israeli media reported.
Meanwhile, Tobias Ellwood, a British parliamentary under secretary of state in charge of Middle East and North African affairs, has expressed concern over reports that Israel has plans for 770 new settlement units in occupied East Jerusalem.
“The UK is concerned to see plans for 770 settlement units between Jerusalem and Bethlehem progressing. As we have previously made clear, all settlement activity is illegal under international law, and damages prospects for a two-state solution,” Ellwood said in a statement.
He expressed “particular” concern over the possible impact of these settlements on Palestinian Christian minorities in the area, who are already affected by renewed construction of the Separation Barrier on Palestinian land in the Cremisan Valley.