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File picture: Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah. Image Credit: Reuters

Ramallah: A Palestinian man who reportedly fired on Israeli troops in the occupied West Bank Wednesday was shot dead by Israeli forces returning fire, the army and Palestinian health ministry said.

The Palestinian health ministry said Mohammed Issa Abbas, 26, died from gunshot wounds to the back after the vehicle he was in came under fire by Israeli forces in the Al Amari refugee camp in Ramallah.

Israel’s army said in a statement that its forces entered the area “to search for suspects who were spotted approaching the community of Psagot.”

Psagot is Jewish settler community in the West Bank.

As troops searched “for the suspects, an assailant fired at the force from a passing vehicle. The troops responded with fire and hit the assailant,” the army said.

It added that no soldiers were injured in the incident, which was a followed by a “riot instigated with the participation of dozens of Palestinians surrounding the troops, who responded with riot dispersal means.”

The deadly incident comes amid a spike this month in violence in the West Bank, which has been occupied by Israeli forces since the 1967 Six Day War.

On Tuesday, a Palestinian man who tried to ram Israeli soldiers with his car in the northern West Bank was shot dead by troops.

On Sunday the army said they had arrested four Palestinian men suspected of shooting dead a Jewish settler and wounding two others in an attack in the West Bank last Thursday.

On Saturday, Israeli border police arrested a 65-year-old Palestinian woman in Hebron after she allegedly stabbed and injured an Israeli settler.

The West Bank is home to nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers, living in communities regarded as illegal under international law.

There have been several incidents in recent weeks in which settlers have attacked Palestinians, including with stones and other weapons.