HEBRON, Palestinian Territories (AFP) – Israeli troops killed a Palestinian Friday during a raid in the West Bank to arrest suspected militants, witnesses and security officials in the territory said.
The shooting happened early Friday morning as soldiers raided several homes in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron, said Palestinian security officials.
The Israeli troops were rounding up six Hamas militants the Palestinians had freed from jail the day before, said the officials.
Palestinian security officials and witnesses named the dead man as Omar Kawasme, 67.
It was not immediately clear if he was one of the six the Israelis had arrested or whether he had been in the home of one of those arrested.
The Israeli military made no immediate comment.
Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas on Thursday ordered the release of the six Hamas prisoners who had been on hunger strile in Palestinian jails. They were being held on unspecified “security grounds.”
A Hamas statement said the men had been on hunger strike for several weeks to protest their continuing detention without trial.
The release was ordered as members of Abbas’ Fatah movement traded allegations of prisoner abuse with the Islamic militant Hamas, their bitter rivals.
The two Palestinian organizations have carried out periodic arrests of each other’s members, often holding detainees without charges or trial.
Relations between the sides have been tense for years and resentement boiled over after Hamas won elections in 2006.
A year later, the Islamists routed Fatah in bloody fighting in the Gaza Strip, effectively splitting the Palestinian territories and confining Abbas’ rule to the West Bank.
The parties held two rounds of fruitless reconciliation talks in the Syrian capital, Damascus, in September and November 2010.
Relations were further strained after revelations in leaked US diplomatic cables that Fatah had asked Israel in 2007 to attack Hamas.