Security forces shot dead a wanted Palestinian security suspect north of Ramallah on Thursday after he ignored calls to leave his hideout and surrender.
The suspect planned and carried out a series of terror attacks across the West Bank, security sources said.
The sources said that the suspect was affiliated with the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine. Two additional suspects were arrested in the raid.
According to intelligence assessments, the suspect, later named as Muataz Washaha, 24, belonged to a localized terror cell that initiated attacks but did not operate as part of a larger and more organized terrorist network.
Thursday’s security raid was carried out under the command of Col. Yossi Pinto of the Binyamin Territorial Brigade, and was joined by the Border Police’s elite Counterterrorism Unit.
During the raid, security forces encircled the suspect’s home in Bir Zeit and called on him to leave peacefully. After he failed to comply, soldiers opened fire, killing him.
Subsequently, about 150 Palestinians took part in a violent disturbance in the area. Security forces dispersed the rioters with nonlethal crowd control means.
There were no injuries in the clash. The Palestinian Authority condemned the incident.
“The assassination of martyr Washaha represents a new violation of human rights. Occupation forces deliberately killed martyr Washaha,” it said in a statement.
IDF sources later told The Jerusalem Post that 2014 has so far been characterized by similar incidents of disturbances and rock-throwing that marked the previous year. There are approximately 180 to 200 Palestinian rock-throwing attacks per month, the source said, in which 30 to 40 rioters typically take part.
“The trend is continuing.
We’re not seeing anything that’s very unusual,” the source said. “There are many disturbances, but their participation rate is low,” he added.
The source said the Judea and Samaria sector appeared to be in a “waiting phase” for the outcome of Israeli-Palestinian peace talks. The IDF believes the talks and their various potential outcomes form a main influencing factor for events on the ground.Reuters contributed to this report.