Palestinian ‘intelligence officer’ shot dead by Israeli security forces
JERUSALEM // A Palestinian man was shot dead by Israeli security forces in the West Bank on Thursday, as Israel said it had arrested several alleged Jewish extremists over the firebombing of a Palestinian home that killed a toddler and his parents.
The Palestinian liaison department identified the dead man as Mazin Hasan Ureiba from Abu Dis, the Palestinian Maan news agency reported.
Ureiba, 37, was an officer in the Palestinian Authority general intelligence service and a father of four, sources told Maan.
The Israeli army claimed Ureiba had shot at Israeli forces at a checkpoint near the village of Hizmeh, north of Jerusalem, wounding a soldier and bystander.
The latest violence brings the Palestinian death toll to 106 since the beginning of October, according to Maan. Nineteen Israelis have been killed in the same time period.
Also on Thursday, the Shin Bet, Israel’s internal security agency, said arrests had been made in recent days of young men “suspected of belonging to a Jewish terror organisation and carrying out terror attacks”.
The detainees were being questioned over the July 31 firebombing in the West Bank village of Duma, it added.
Further information on the investigation, including the identities of those held, remained under an Israeli gag order.
The Jewish state has faced mounting pressure to bring the perpetrators of the attack to justice. On Wednesday, Nickolay Mladenov, UN special coordinator for the Middle East peace process expressed concern over the investigation’s “slow progress”.
Eighteen-month-old Ali Saad Dawabsha and his parents were killed in the firebomb attack. The couple’s four-year-old son was the sole survivor from the immediate family.
Earlier in the day, Israel demolished the West Bank home of a Palestinian man who it claims masterminded the October 1 killing of a Jewish settler couple in front of their young children.
Rajeb Aliua, who lived in Nablus, was arrested a few days after the shooting of Naama and Eitam Henkin, along with other suspects.
Such demolitions are heavily criticised by rights groups who say they amount to collective punishment.
Meanwhile, Egypt reopened its border with the Gaza Strip in both directions on Thursday for the first time in months.
Thousands of Palestinians were lining up at the Rafah crossing in hopes of leaving the isolated enclave during a two-day opening.
* Agence France-Presse, with additional reporting by Associated Press
Updated: December 3, 2015 04:00 AM