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Photos of slain Israeli soldiers appear in Germany’s largest daily paper

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:40

BERLIN (JTA) — Germany’s most widely read daily newspaper, Bild Zeitung, published the faces of the 64 Israeli soldiers killed in the current conflict in Gaza.

Together with short biographies of a few soldiers, the images appeared in the Monday edition of the paper under the headline “Israel’s War Against the Hamas Terrorists: Faces of the fallen.”

Among those profiled are Benaya Sarel, 26, who was about to marry; newlywed Liran Adir, 31; Eitan Barak, 20, the first Israeli soldier to die in Operation Protective Edge; and Matan Gotlib, 21, an avid mountain climber who was about to finish his three years of military service.

Gotlib’s brother Omer, 31, told Bild that Matan was planning to travel the world, as many young Israelis do after completing their service.

“Do you know any big brothers who look up to their little brothers? I admired you,” he said.

The report, by Anne-Christine Merholz, describes the soldiers as “64 sons, friends, husbands who will never return to their families. They died for their homeland, fighting Hamas in Gaza.”

Bild, which has a circulation of at least 3.5 million, is published by the Axel-Springer company, which has a strongly pro-Israel editorial stand. Its articles of association, which date back to 1967 and were most recently updated in 2001, include a commitment to promote reconciliation between Jews and non-Jews in Germany and to support Israel’s right to exist.

Pope Francis promoting Mideast peace with all-star soccer match

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:07

(JTA) — Pope Francis has organized an exhibition soccer match with all-star players to promote peace between Israelis and Palestinians.

The “match for the peace” will take place Sept. 1 at the Olympic Stadium in Rome.

Among the top players, active and retired, scheduled to participate are Argentine greats Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi. Maradona told Argentine media that the pope called him personally and asked him “to play for the peace between Israel and Palestine.” Francis also called Messi to request his participation.

Yossi Benayoun, an Israeli, also will participate, as will players from Russia, Cameroon, Italy, France and Brazil.

The match will be hosted by the Pupi Foundation, a charity founded by the Argentine soccer player Javier “Pupi” Zanetti, as well as the Pontifical Academy for Social Science.

In May, Francis hosted then-Israeli President Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas for a prayer summit at the Vatican.

UMass Amherst scraps fall study programs in Israel

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 10:01

BOSTON (JTA) – The University of Massachusetts Amherst canceled its study abroad programs in Israel for the fall semester.

The school, the flagship of the UMass system, cited a July 21 recommendation from the U.S. State Department that U.S. citizens defer “nonessential travel” to Israel, the West Bank and the Gaza Strip in response to the Israel-Gaza conflict.

Two undergraduates will be affected by the decision made by the school’s international risk management committee. One was to begin a program at Tel Aviv University this week, which prompted the timing of the cancellation, according to a statement issued by the university.

“It was a difficult decision,” Jack Ahern, the university’s vice provost for international programs, told the Boston Globe. “But we take our responsibility to ensure students’ safety strongly.”

A spokesman for UMass Amherst told JTA that the school’s deliberations are ongoing and will be reassessed. None of the school’s other study abroad programs have been similarly affected at this time.

The decision does not affect faculty and graduate students who travel to Israel or undergraduates who have personal travel plans.

Last month, the university evacuated six students and one faculty member who were in Israel completing an archaeological dig program.

While a handful of summer programs in Israel were cut short or canceled, such as a six-week archaeological program from the University of Iowa, several directors of Judaic studies departments reached by JTA were surprised by the announcement.

“The question that universities need to ask is not whether Israel is totally safe — no country is — but whether Israel is as safe as other countries that students are permitted to study at,” Jonathan Sarna, a Brandeis University American Jewish history professor and president of the Association for Jewish Studies, wrote in an email.

Sarna said he was not aware of any other canceled study abroad programs in Israel.

 

French deputy mayor defends name of locality called ‘death to the Jews’

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 09:46

(JTA) — A French deputy mayor said she was opposed to changing the name of a locality under her jurisdiction called “death to the Jews.”

Marie-Elisabeth Secretand of the village of Courtemaux advocated keeping the name of Mort-Aux-Juifs in an interview with the news agency AFP. Secretand was reacting to a letter sent Monday by the Simon Wiesenthal Center to French Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve urging him to have the name changed.

“It’s absurd, this name has existed for ages,” she said. “Of course no one means to harm the Jews.”

According to Secretand, Mort-Aux-Juifs is made up of a farm and two homes. She added that a local council declined a motion to have the village renamed 20 years ago.

In his letter, Shimon Samuels, the Wiesenthal Center’s director for international relations, implored Cazeneuve to seek “the earliest removal of this genocidal name and its replacement with an identity rather more welcoming to all.”

According to Samuels, the name is apparently of long date, possibly as far as the 11th-century pogroms that ended with the expulsion of France’s 110,000 Jews by King Philip IV of France in 1306.

Samuels found surprising “that the name remained under Napoleon’s emancipation of French Jewry,” adding “that it was unnoticed during seventy years since the liberation of France from the Nazis and Vichy is most shocking.”

Earlier this year, a majority of residents in a village in northern Spain, Castrillo MataJudios, voted to change their municipality’s name because it meant “Camp kill Jews.”

 

New Zealand lawmaker apologizes for ‘Shylock’ slur of Key

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 08:27

SYDNEY, Australia (JTA) – A New Zealand lawmaker apologized for describing Prime Minister John Key as “Shylock” on Facebook.

Steven Gibson of the Labor Party used what critics branded as an anti-Semitic slur alongside a photo of the Conservative Party leader.

On Monday, Gibson said the comment was “completely inappropriate” and that he didn’t fully understand the term “Shylock.” The post has since been deleted.

“I was only repeating what a constituent had said to me,” local media reported him saying. “And it’s only now that I realize the connotations of it. I’m sorry people have been offended and I’ll take the post down – that’s all I can do.”

Shylock is a character in the Shakespeare play “The Merchant of Venice” and using his name has a connotation of evil.

In his original post, Gibson wrote, “There is the real face of Shonky Jonkey Shylock … nasty little creep with a nasty evil and vindictive sneer.”

Key, who is running for re-election in September, is the son of the late Ruth Lazar, a Jewish refugee for Europe who escaped on the eve of the war. He recognizes his Jewish heritage but sometimes attends church. He praised the local Jewish community.

“They’re a good hard-working group of New Zealanders and I don’t think people should be attacked on religious belief, whether they are Islamic, or Christian or if they’re Jewish,” he said.

 

South Korea looking to buy Iron Dome

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 05:51

TEL AVIV (JTA) — South Korea is interested in buying Iron Dome missile defense batteries from the Israeli weapons manufacturer Rafael Advanced Defense Systems.

South Korea expressed interest, according to Reuters, after Iron Dome achieved a 90 percent success rate in intercepting short-range missiles fired at Israeli cities from Gaza in Israel’s recent conflict with Hamas. South Korea faces a threat across its border from North Korea.

Rafael CEO Yedidia Yaari told Israel Radio, according to Reuters, that Rafael representatives had traveled to Seoul, South Korea’s capital, to promote Iron Dome.

“[South Korea] is very worried not only about rockets but other things as well,” Yaari said. “You can certainly include them in the club of interested countries.”

Rafael developed Iron Dome’s technology, which is mostly funded by the United States. Each interceptor missile costs $50,000.

Last week, Congress approved an additional $225 million for Iron Dome development.

Homes of suspected kidnappers can be razed, Israel’s high court rules

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 05:25

(JTA) — Israel’s Supreme Court dismissed objections to an order to demolish the homes of the suspected kidnappers and murderers of three Israeli teens in June.

In Tuesday’s ruling, the court said it found no reason to interfere in the razing of the homes by the Israeli army scheduled for Thursday.

The suspects’ families argued that the home demolitions constitute collective punishment and that the suspects have not yet been found guilty, according to Haaretz. They also argued that the decision was hypocritical because the army will not demolish houses of Jewish terrorists who kidnapped an Arab teen, Mohammed Abu Khdeir, last month.

But the court accepted the argument of the Israeli army, which said the home demolitions aim to deter Palestinians from future terrorist acts.  The court rejected the claim that the murders of the three teens and Khdeir are equal. The Israeli government has ruled that the kidnapping and murder of Khdeir was terrorism.

“I’m not overlooking the shocking case of the murder of the teenage boy Mohammed Abu Khdeir, a case that shocked the country and sparked wall-to-wall condemnations, but this was the rarest of rare occurrences,” Justice Yoram Danziger wrote in his decision, according to Haaretz. “Therefore, it seems to me there’s no place for the artificial symmetry claimed by the petitioners to support their claim of discriminatory enforcement.”

The three suspects — Amer Abu Aisheh and brothers Marwan and Hussam Qawasmeh — are accused of kidnapping and murdering Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach. Only Hussam Qawasmeh, who is suspected of aiding the kidnapping and murder, is in Israeli custody; the others remain at large.

Chief suspect describes murder of Palestinian teen Mohammed Khdeir

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 04:40

(JTA) — The chief suspect in the murder of Palestinian teenager Mohammed Abu Khdeir described the killing in testimony released by Israel’s police.

In the account released Tuesday, Yosef Haim Ben-David, 29, describes setting out on the night of July 2 with two 16-year-old accomplices to avenge the kidnapping and murder of three Israeli teens in June. The three first planned to burn a Palestinian-owned store, but then decided to kidnap a Palestinian. The previous night, they had failed in an attempt to kidnap a 7-year-old Palestinian boy.

“We talked and decided to take it up a notch,” Ben-David told investigators, according to Israeli reports. “We said, ‘They took three of ours, let’s take one of theirs,’ and we decided to pick someone up, to kidnap him, beat him up and throw him out.”

According to the testimony, the suspects filled two bottles with gasoline at a West Bank gas station. They then saw Khdeir, 16, on the road, and asked him for directions to Tel Aviv before seizing him and forcing him into their car. When Abu Khdeir fought back, the two 16-year-old suspects strangled him until he lost consciousness.

The suspects then took the teen to the Jerusalem forest, where they doused him with gasoline and set him on fire after Ben-David beat him with a crowbar. They then drove to a Jerusalem park and burned their clothing.

Ben-David, who is pleading temporary insanity in the case, said that afterward, the three regretted killing Khdeir.

The names of Ben-David’s two accomplices have not been released.

The Israeli government has ruled the kidnapping and murder as terrorism.

Little progress reported at Cairo truce talks

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 03:55

(JTA) — Negotiators at the Israel-Hamas truce talks in Cairo said they were still far from an agreement.

Palestinian officials said Tuesday that the current three-day cease-fire between the sides will be the final one unless Israel and Hamas make progress toward a truce. The cease-fire, which began Monday, is the second three-day truce between the sides after a month of fighting.

“We’re standing before a difficult negotiation,” Hamas deputy political leader Mousa Abu Marzook said, according to the Times of Israel. “The first truce passed without an acceptable achievement to note. This is the second and final truce. The seriousness right now is clear. What’s necessary is for the delegation to achieve what the Palestinian people wishes of it.”

Israeli negotiators also reported little progress at the negotiations. Israel has called for another three-day truce to allow negotiations to continue.

Hamas is demanding an end to Israel’s blockade of the Gaza Strip and the building of an airport and seaport, and Israel is demanding Gaza’s demilitarization. Palestinian negotiators, including representatives of the Palestinian Islamic Jihad militant group, reportedly rejected an Israeli offer of a seaport in exchange for the demilitarization.

 

Jewish day schooler slammed, supported for photo in Palestinian garb

Tue, 08/12/2014 - 03:31

(JTA) — A Facebook photo of a South African Jewish day school student wearing a traditional Palestinian scarf has spurred outrage and support for the teenager.

A petition called for the removal of Joshua Broomberg from an honorary position at King David Victory Park High School. A dueling petition came to his defense.

Broomberg, deputy head boy at the day school as well as the captain of the South Africa national debate team, was tagged in a Facebook photograph wearing the scarf and a badge of the Palestinian flag, according to the Independent Online, a South African news website.

“Team South Africa wearing Palestinian badges and Keffiyehs to show our opposition to the human rights violations carried out against the people of Palestine,” the photo caption said.

Broomberg and the debate team were in Thailand competing in the World Schools Debating Championship.

In response to the posting, a petition was posted online at change.org calling for Broomberg’s removal as deputy head boy. The petition quickly garnered 2,000 online signatures.

In response, a petition on change.org opposing Broomberg’s removal has garnered more than 4,000 signatures.

Rabbi Craig Kacev, general director of the South African Board of Jewish Education, which oversees King David Victory Park, said Broomberg would not be suspended and defended the student’s right to free speech, telling South Africa’s Eyewitness News, “We encourage critical thinking, we encourage our learners to debate and there’s no censorship in our school.”

In a post on Facebook, Broomberg apologized for creating an “uproar,” which he said he did not intend, but defended himself as a proud Jew and as a Zionist.

“While I apologise for the hurt we seem to have caused, I do not apologise for standing with Palestine on this issue,” he wrote.

Tel Aviv to allow some businesses to open on Shabbat

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 15:15

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Tel Aviv municipality passed a by-law that will allow some grocery stores to remain open on Shabbat.

Under the measure passed Sunday, about 15 percent of the city’s grocery stores will receive permission to remain open on Saturdays. They will be spread out throughout the city, with fewer open in areas that are more religious and more in secular areas.

It is illegal in Israel to open retail businesses on the Jewish Sabbath, which begins at sundown Friday and ends after sunset Saturday. Businesses that remain open are levied modest fines.

Israel’s interior minister, Gideon Saar, in June rejected an amendment to allow some stores to stay open on the Sabbath and holidays that was approved by the municipality’s City Council in March. Saar said the measure did not explain why it was essential for the stores to remain open on the Sabbath rather than meet the public’s needs during the rest of the week.

The amendment, which dealt with grocery and convenience stores, needed the approval of the Interior Ministry to go into effect.

Saar approved part of the amendment, which would allow businesses in the Jaffa and Tel Aviv ports and in Hatahana in south Tel Aviv to open on Shabbat.

A year ago, Israel’s Supreme Court ordered the Tel Aviv-Jaffa municipality to enforce a by-law that bans its businesses from opening on Saturday.

The high court ruled that the municipality and two large supermarket chains violated the municipal by-law against opening on the Sabbath. The court suggested the city could change the by-law to allow businesses to remain open on Saturday.

The owners of the small shops claimed they were losing customers to the chains that could afford to remain open on Saturday and absorb the modest fines levied for their transgression.

U.N. panel probing Israel to include George Clooney’s fiancee

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 15:08

(JTA) – Amal Alamuddin, a British attorney and the fiancee of actor George Clooney, will serve on a U.N. commission investigating Israel for possible war crimes in Gaza.

Alamuddin, who was the legal adviser to the prosecutor of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon and has represented WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange, will be part of a three-person panel of inquiry, the United Nations Human Rights Council said Monday.

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights said the commission is charged with investigating “all violations of international humanitarian law and international human rights law” in the recent conflict in Gaza.

William Schabas, a Canadian international law professor, will chair the commission, which also includes Doudo Diene, a Senegalese attorney who advised the U.N. on the human rights situation in the Ivory Coast from 2011 to this year.

Israel’s Foreign Ministry slammed the selection of Schabas as chairman, saying in a statement that his “opinions and positions on Israel are known to all,” according to the Times of Israel.

Choosing Schabas, the ministry said, “proves beyond any doubt that Israel cannot expect justice from this body, and that the committee’s report is already written. What has just been determined is who will sign it.”

The leader of UN Watch, a nongovernmental organization that monitors the world body, called on Schabas to recuse himself because his “repeated calls to indict Israeli leaders obviously gives rise to actual bias or the appearance thereof.”

“You can’t spend several years calling for the prosecution of someone, and then suddenly act as his judge,” Hillel Neuer, the group’s executive director, said in a news release.

UN Watch also questioned the appointment of Alamuddin.

“She has some experience,” Neuer said, “but at 36 she will be the youngest ever to serve on any UN inquiry, raising suspicions that the UN is trying to inject some Hollywood publicity into the process.”

Turkish aid group IHH to send new Gaza blockade-busting flotilla

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:22

(JTA) — A Turkish aid group is sending a flotilla in an attempt to break the Israeli blockage of Gaza, as it did in 2010 with deadly consequences.

The Humanitarian Relief Foundation, or IHH, said Monday that it would send the flotilla, including pro-Palestinian activists from 12 countries, “in the shadow of the latest Israeli aggression on Gaza,” Reuters reported.

“As most governments are complicit, the responsibility falls on civil society to challenge the Israeli blockade on Gaza,” the group said in a statement.

An Israeli commando raid on the IHH flotilla in 2010 left nine Turkish protesters dead and damaged relations between Turkey and Israel.

Swedish paper pulls cartoon deemed anti-Semitic

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:19

(JTA) — The Swedish daily Aftonbladet removed a cartoon deemed anti-Semitic and vowed to tighten editorial oversight.

Aftonbladet, one of Sweden’s leading dailies, announced the removal of the cartoon from the online edition of the paper’s humor section on Monday.

The cartoon, which appeared on the website over the weekend, showed two characters wearing Jewish symbols. One dressed in Orthodox Jewish attire and holding a sign with the Star of David and the words “Land of Israel” is seen telling the other character, “Hitler gassed the wrong Jews.”

The Orthodox Jewish character is replying to a statement by a character wearing a kippah and Palestinian shawl, or keffiyeh, while holding a sign with the peace sign and the words Israel and Palestine.

The kippah wearer — ostensibly a Jewish supporter of a binational state instead of a Jewish one – is seen saying, “Leave Israel? When my parents who survived the Holocaust went to Israel to give me a life of peace and freedom?”

Tobias Lindner, a spokesman for Aftonbladet, told the news site, “It is clear that this strip should not be published. Aftonbladet will now sharpen their procedures” with regards to the humor section website.

A spokesman for the Christian Democrats party had called the cartoon “Jew-hatred,” according to the news site dagensmedia.se, and said its publication is “very strange” during a time when “politicians from left to right agree that the situation for Jews has worsened throughout Europe, including Sweden.”

In 2009, Aftonbladet sparked an angry reaction from Israeli officials and Jewish leaders with the publication of an unverified account that Israeli troops used to harvest organs from Palestinians who died in custody. Israel squarely denied the accusation.

10 Jewish Israelis charged in beating of two Palestinians

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 13:05

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Ten Jewish Israelis — seven adults and three minors — were indicted in the beating of two Palestinians from eastern Jerusalem.

Under the indictments filed on Monday in Jerusalem District Court and Jerusalem District Juvenile Court, the accused are charged with aggravated assault in the July 25 attack.

The victims, both 20-year-old residents of the Bet Hanina neighborhood, were beaten near Neve Yaakov, a Jewish neighborhood of eastern Jerusalem, allegedly by a group of Jewish youths. The attack occurred soon after two Jewish teenagers spoke to the men and ascertained that they were Arabs, according to reports.

The victims said the mob used sticks and iron bars and that they lost consciousness during the attack.

 

3 Israelis killed when minibus hits train in Switzerland

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 10:26

(JTA) — Three Israeli tourists died and five others were wounded when their minibus collided with a train in Switzerland, Swiss authorities said.

The accident occurred Monday near Lake Lucerne in central Switzerland, the news site blick.ch quoted officials as saying at a news conference.

It was not immediately clear why the minibus crossed the railway tracks in a way that resulted in impact with the passing train. None of the train passengers were hurt.

The Israelis — four men and four women — were on their way to Engelberg just south of the lake, Jurg Wobmann, a local police officer, told the media. None were named, nor was the medical condition given of the five survivors, but blick reported that they were in serious condition.

Lorenz Muhmenthaler, another local police officer, said extracting the casualties from the mangled minibus was a complex operation that took a great deal of time. Some 50 rescuers worked at the accident scene.

According to the news site, the Israelis left Hotel Alpina in Wolfenschiessen on Monday morning on their way to Titlis.

Hamas orders foreign journalists in Gaza to hold its press card

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:50

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Hamas evoked a strong protest from the Foreign Press Association for ordering foreign journalists working in the Gaza Strip to hold press cards issued by the Hamas press office.

The journalists must provide the Hamas press office with information about their Palestinian translators and assistants, and the address of where they will be staying, according to the directives issued Sunday. The new rules are to help with “facilitating and organizing the mission of our foreign colleagues,” the Hamas press office said, according to The Jerusalem Post.

Journalists who do not meet the requirements will not be permitted to work in Gaza, the press office said.

The Foreign Press Association on Monday protested “in the strongest terms the blatant, incessant, forceful and unorthodox methods employed by the Hamas authorities and their representatives against visiting international journalists in Gaza over the past month.”

The association called the new requirements a vetting procedure that would “allow for the blacklisting of specific journalists.”

“The international media are not advocacy organizations and cannot be prevented from reporting by means of threats or pressure, thereby denying their readers and viewers an objective picture from the ground,” the association’s statement said.

The association said that some foreign reporters working in Gaza have been “harassed, threatened or questioned over stories or information they have reported through their news media or by means of social media.”

Yankees president hosts future Israeli soldiers before their aliyah

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:44

Yankees President Randy Levine and wife Mindy Levine, center, at Yankee Stadium in New York with the young men and women who are planning to make aliyah and serve in the Israeli army, (Shahar Azran, courtesy Nefesh B’Nefesh)

(JTA) — The president of the New York Yankees hosted some 40 young men and women who are making aliyah and plan to serve in the Israel Defense Forces.

Randy Levine and his wife, Mindy, hosted the future soldiers at Yankee Stadium on Sunday prior to the game against the Cleveland Indians.

Many of the young guests were scheduled to arrive in Israel on Tuesday as part of an aliyah charter flight. Of the 338 people arriving on the flight, 108 will be joining the IDF.

The flight was organized by Nefesh B’Nefesh, Israel’s Ministry of Aliyah and Immigrant Absorption and Keren Kayemeth Le’Israel in cooperation with The Jewish Agency for Israel, JNF-USA and Tzofim Garin Tzabar.

The new soldiers will be taken care of, in part, by the Nefesh B’Nefesh Lone Soldiers Program.

Israel working to retrieve fallen soldier’s remains, Yaalon tells family

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 09:26

JERUSALEM (JTA) — The Israeli government is making every effort to retrieve the body of Sgt. Oron Shaul for burial, Israeli Defense Minister Moshe Yaalon told the slain soldier’s  family.

“It’s obvious to us that Oron’s body is in the hands of Hamas, and we’re making every effort to retrieve it,” Yaalon said Sunday during a meeting with the family, Ynet reported. “Unfortunately we have a lot of experience with cases like this, and unfortunately I’ve encountered it during my military service.”

Efforts to retrieve the body are being undertaken on the diplomatic level during the cease-fire talks, according to reports.

Shaul, 21, of Poriya Illit in northern Israel, was declared killed in action after it was first believed he was kidnapped. An Israeli army committee ruled based on evidence from the field that Shaul was killed in the attack. He was declared a fallen soldier whose burial place is unknown.

Shaul was among seven members of the Givati Brigade who were killed when Hamas bombed their armored personnel carrier early in the ground operation. Hamas is in possession of his military photo ID.

Also Sunday, the Israel-based ZAKA International Rescue and Recovery organization in a letter to Robert Serry, the United Nations special coordinator for the Middle East peace process, asked for permission to enter Gaza to retrieve the remains of Shaul and Hadar Goldin, whose remains also are being held by Hamas.

“As a UN-recognized international humanitarian volunteer organization in recovering human remains of disaster victims, we turn to you, as the UN representative in the Middle East, to help facilitate the return of the soldiers’ body parts,” wrote Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, ZAKA’s chairman and founder.

Israel also has requested assistance from the International Red Cross in its efforts to have the remains returned.

Wanted Palestinian killed in West Bank shootout with Israeli soldiers

Mon, 08/11/2014 - 06:46

JERUSALEM (JTA) — A wanted Palestinian man was killed in a shootout with Israel Border Police at his West Bank home.

Israeli troops surrounded the home near Nablus of Fatah member Zakaria al-Akra, 24, early Monday morning, and began spraying the walls with gunfire and ramming it with a bulldozer to force him out, according to Ynet, citing unnamed Palestinian sources.

Al-Akra fired on the soldiers, injuring two, before he was shot dead. Security forces found weapons inside the house, Ynet reported.

Israel accused Al-Akra of shooting and injuring an Israeli soldier a few weeks ago, according to the Palestinian Maan news service.

Less than a day earlier in the West Bank, a 12-year-old Palestinian boy was killed in a shooting by Israeli soldiers during a riot near Hebron. Palestinian protesters threw rocks at soldiers who fired back at them, wounding the boy. He died later in the hospital.

The Israeli army has opened an investigation into the boy’s death.