JERUSALEM (AP) — A Palestinian man on Tuesday was shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, Palestinian health officials said.
The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saddam Hussein Beni Odeh, 26, was shot by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Tammun, a town near the northern city of Nablus.
Many Palestinians admired the late Iraqi leader, who attacked Israel with Scud missiles during the first Gulf War in 1991, and named their children after him.
The Israeli military said the troops had come under fire overnight while arresting two people in the area, and that troops shot at a passing vehicle after an explosive device was hurled at them.
The Israeli military often conducts arrest raids in the occupied West Bank, even in areas that are under control of the Palestinian Authority, the internationally recognized entity that has limited autonomy in parts of the area. Palestinians often throw stones or firebombs or shoot at Israeli patrols, drawing live fire in return.
In recent months, the West Bank has seen an increase in violence. Last week, a 13-year-old Palestinian boywas killed by Israeli fire during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians. There also have been a string of attacksby Israeli settlers on Palestinians.
Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in more than 130 settlements scattered across the West Bank. The Palestinians view the settlements as the main obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is still seen internationally as the only way to resolve the conflict. Most of the international community views the settlements as illegal.
Israel considers the West Bank to be the biblical and historical heartland of the Jewish people. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is a strong supporter of settlements who is opposed to a Palestinian state and has shown no interest in reviving the long-dormant peace process. But he has called for steps to reduce friction and improve economic conditions for Palestinians.