A soldier was killed early Tuesday morning by a stone dropped on his head during an operation to arrest Palestinian suspects in the West Bank, an Israeli military statement said.
The military named the soldier as 21-year-old Staff Sgt. Amit Ben Ygal, a resident of Ramat Gan.
At around 4 A.M., the military said, a unit from the Golani Brigade arrived at the town of Ya'bad, near Jenin, to arrest four Palestinians – two suspected of involvement in a terrorist organization, and two suspected of throwing stones. The military said Ben Ygal was wearing a helmet and that is unclear why the forces responsible for observation did not spot the perpetrators. The military said it is investigating the incident.
An eyewitness in the town said Israeli troops arrested 11 people, all members of the same family, after the incident. Local reports also said four young people were wounded by rubber bullets.
On Tuesday evening, the Israeli military entered the village again and clashes erupted with local youth. Troops encircled one of the buildings with equipment used for home demolitions, according to Palestinian eye witnesses.
A resident of the town told Haaretz that the incident occurred in the early morning when many residents were awake because of Ramadan. Clashes erupted after the troops arrived at the town, he said.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vowed that "Israel's long arm will reach the terrorist and hold him accountable."
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In his funeral, Ben Ygal's father said Amit was an only child. "I signed on for him to serve in a combat unit. In one moment I went from being a happy man to being miserable."
Defense Minister Naftali Bennet was present at the funeral and said the Golani Brigade will "go back there and find the bastard terrorist who did this."
In a similar incident in 2018, Staff Sgt. Ronen Lubarsky was fatally injured when a heavy stone slab was thrown from the third floor of a building during arrests at the al-Am’ari refugee camp, near Ramallah.
A Palestinian, Islam Mohammed Yousef Naji, was sentenced to life in prison after confessing. According to the Shin Bet security service, he had decided to take revenge after his brother was arrested earlier in 2018.