Photo: EPA
Archive photo of an IDF vehicle in Hebron.
Photo: EPA
Wanted Fatah member killed in gun battle near Nablus
Israel Border Police kill Zakaria al-Akra after firefight in Kablan amid rising tensions in West Bank; military launches investigation into death of 12-year-old Palestinian.

Palestinian sources told Ynet Monday morning that a large contingency of Israel Border Police accompanied by bulldozers moved into Kablan near Nablus in the West Bank overnight to capture wanted Fatah member Zakaria al-Akra.



According to the Palestinians, the IDF surrounded al-Akra's house before the fugitive opened fire at the soldiers, lightly wounding two. Al-Akra himself was reportedly killed in the firefight.


In order to draw al-Akra out of his home, the IDF contingency enacted a procedure known as 'Pressure Cooker' in which soldiers fired on the walls of the house and damaged part of the structure with a D9 bulldozer. After al-Akra was killed, security forces found weapons inside the house.


As fighting continued in Gaza over the last few weeks, tensions also rose in the West Bank resulting in the deaths of several Palestinians who clashed with security forces during protests and riots.


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A 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed Sunday after soldiers were near Hebron were confronted by violent protesters who threw rocks at the security forces.


The soldiers returned fire, wounding the boy who was evacuated to a hospital where he died of his wounds. Army officials expressed regret at the death of the child and said that the details of the event would be investigated.


Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich told Ynet Monday that violence in the West Bank was due to increase if the Gaza front couldn't be concluded diplomatically during the current three-day ceasefire due to end on Wednesday night.


"There is an increase in the amount of Palestinians harmed in the West Bank," said the MK. "Because of what's happening in Gaza there's an atmosphere that leads to an increase of security events and that's why we're investing a lot of forces there."


"At this point we can still handle it, but in the case of another entrance into Gaza, we could potentially see more severe events and we need to prepare for this," said Aharonovich.


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