Israeli troops killed a Palestinian during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday in what the army described as return fire against an attacker but which his family called an unprovoked shooting.
The Islamic Jihad militant group, a focus of an Israeli crackdown in the West Bank, claimed Tayeh as a member and said he had died “during clashes”. It did not elaborate.
As part of near-nightly security sweeps mounted after a series of lethal Palestinian street attacks in Israeli cities, the army carried out arrests and searches in several locations.
The slain man, Younis Tayeh, 21, had left the family home in Tubas village to try to find his uncle after hearing that he had been detained, Tayeh’s twin brother Hussein told Reuters.
“I asked him not to cross the street, as a soldier could be taking aim. As soon as he crossed the street he (a soldier) immediately shot him,” Tayeh said. “I tried to reach him but he (the soldier) aimed two bullets at me, so I couldn’t go out.”
The army said in a statement that an improvised explosive device was thrown and shots were fired at soldiers, who returned fire. There were no Israeli casualties. One person had been arrested in Tubas and 24 elsewhere, it said.
Tayeh’s family denied he had taken part in clashes. Tubas residents said he had worked in an automotive workshop and was not known to have belonged to any armed Palestinian factions.
The West Bank, among territories that Palestinians hope will form part of an eventual independent state, has seen waves of violence involving Palestinians, the Israeli army and Jewish settlers since U.S.-sponsored statehood talks with Israel broke down in 2014.
The diplomatic stagnation has contributed to the sapping of the credibility of the U.S.-backed Palestinian Authority, which has limited self-rule and security control in the West Bank.
The PA casts Israeli actions as designed to weaken it.
“There has been a very determined decision by the Israeli government over the last year, that we would not trust the PA and would ourselves get to everyone planning to carry out terrorism,” Ram Ben-Barak, chairman of the Israeli parliament’s Foreign Affairs and Defence Committee, told Ynet Radio.
“That has led to a really major increase in tensions.”
Many of the Israel raids have been in the Palestinian militant stronghold city of Jenin.
The street attacks in Israel and the West Bank have killed killed 18 people. The Palestinian Health Ministry says about 100 Palestinians have been killed in the crackdown, including militants, civilians, and people taking part in clashes with Israeli forces.