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Man ‘killed by Israeli fire in West Bank’

A Palestinian man has been shot and killed by Israeli fire in the occupied West Bank, officials in the region say.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said Saddam Hussein Beni Odeh, 26, was shot by Israeli soldiers at the entrance to Tammun, a town near the northern city of Nablus.

Many Palestinians admired the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein – who attacked Israel with Scud missiles during the first Gulf War in 1991 – and named their children after him.

The circumstances of the shooting were unclear, and the Israeli military had no immediate comment.

Israel’s forces often conduct arrest raids in the occupied West Bank, even in areas under control of the Palestinian Authority, the internationally recognised entity that has limited autonomy in parts of the area.

Palestinians often throw stones or firebombs at Israeli patrols, drawing live fire in return.

In recent months, the West Bank has seen an increase in violence.

Last week, a 13-year-old boy was killed by Israeli fire during clashes with stone-throwing Palestinians.

Nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers live in more than 130 settlements scattered across the West Bank.

The Palestinians view the settlements as the main obstacle to the creation of a viable Palestinian state alongside Israel, which is still seen internationally as the only way to resolve the conflict.

Most of the international community views the settlements as illegal.

Israel considers the West Bank to be the historical heartland of the Jewish people.

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is a strong supporter of settlements and is opposed to a Palestinian state.

He has shown no interest in reviving the long-dormant peace process but has called for steps to reduce friction and improve economic conditions for Palestinians.

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