Palestinian Gunman Killed in West Bank Shootout With Israeli Soldiers

Israeli army reports finding weapons in home of Palestinian suspected of leading a West Bank cell planning attacks.

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A "Carlo" rifle found in the home of a wanted Palestinian who was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces on Monday, March 6, 2017.
A "Carlo" rifle found in the home of a wanted Palestinian who was killed in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces on Monday, March 6, 2017.Credit: Police Spokesperson

A Palestinian gunman was killed early Monday in an exchange of fire with Israeli security forces during a raid to arrest him in Al-Bireh, near Ramallah.

The man, identified as Basil al-Araj, was the leader of a cell planning attacks and was responsible for acquiring weapons, a statement from the Border Police said. The army said the al-Araj was a wanted "terrorist."

Palestinian reports said al-Araj was a resident of Bethlehem who has been wanted for several months.

The Israeli army reported that two M-16 and Carlo rifles were found during a search of al-Araj's home.

Hamas condemned the death of al-Araj, saying that the incident "reminds us how ugly the security cooperation between the PA and Israel is."

After the exchange of fire that killed al-Araj, the Israeli army said that clashes erupted with other Palestinians in the area who threw stones at the soldiers who responded with gunfire aimed at the lower extremities that wounded two.

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