Palestinian killed during clashes with IDF in West Bank

The PIJ and Hamas both claimed that the killed Palestinian was a member of their movements.

Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants participate in a military show in Gaza City (photo credit: MOHAMMED SALEM/ REUTERS)
Palestinian Islamic Jihad militants participate in a military show in Gaza City

A Palestinian was shot and killed during clashes with the IDF in Tubas, located northeast of Nablus in the West Bank, on Tuesday morning, according to Palestinian reports. The Palestinian was identified as Saddam Hussein Bani Odeh.

The IDF stated that it had entered Tubas to arrest two suspects and that soldiers operating in the town came under fire and an explosive device was thrown at them from a passive vehicle. The soldiers returned fire, with the IDF saying it was aware of claims about a killed Palestinian. No soldiers were wounded in the clashes. 

In response to Odeh's death, Hamas called for an escalation in the West Bank and for the Palestinian Authority to stop security coordination with Israel.

While both Hamas and the Palestinian Islamic Jihad movement issued statements mourning Odeh, it was unclear as of Tuesday afternoon which movement he belonged to.

The PIJ explicitly stated that he was a member of the movement, but a graphic shared by the Palestinian Safa news agency stated that Odeh was a member of Hamas. Pictures of Odeh's body showed it shrouded in a Hamas flag with a PIJ flag placed on top. Another photo showed his body with only the Hamas flag, but with a PIJ headband on his head.

Photos from Odeh's funeral in his hometown of Tamun, showed large crowds carry the flags of both Hamas and the PIJ.

The funeral comes less than a week after Hamas expressed satisfaction after thousands of people took part in the funeral of Wasfi Kabaha, a former Palestinian Authority (PA) minister of prisoners affairs and Hamas official, calling it a vote of confidence in the Islamist movement and its “resistance” against Israel.

The mass funeral is seen by Palestinians as a show of force and a direct challenge to the PA by Hamas and PIJ supporters in the West Bank. The two groups have a strong presence in Jenin and its surroundings.

On Sunday, leaders in the PA's security services in Jenin were removed and transferred to other leadership positions in other governorates, according to the Palestinian WAFA news agency. Talal Dweikat, a spokesman for the Palestinian security services, stressed that the moves were "normal" and came after consultations and coordination between the leaders of the security services, with the aim of strengthening the security situation in the Jenin area.

Khaled Abu Toameh contributed to this report.