Israeli soldier killed by rock thrown during West Bank raid

An Israeli soldier died after being struck in the head by a rock thrown from a rooftop during an arrest raid in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the military said.

The incident was a departure from a relative lull in lethal violence in the West Bank as Palestinians and Israelis have curbed movements and, to a degree, cooperated on measures in response to the coronavirus crisis.

But tensions are stirring as Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu plans to swear in on Thursday a new coalition government whose agenda includes a possible declaration of sovereignty over Jewish settlements and the strategic Jordan Valley in the West Bank - a de facto annexation.

The Israeli military said the soldier, a 21-year-old conscript, was struck in the head by a rock thrown from a rooftop in Yabad village, near Jenin, as his special-forces unit withdrew after detaining four Palestinians.

“Israel’s long arm will reach the terrorist and settle the score with him,” Netanyahu said on Twitter.

The Palestinians detained in Yabad are suspected of having previously thrown rocks at Israeli cars on a nearby road, and other security offences, the military spokesman said.

There were no immediate reports of Palestinian casualties in Tuesday’s incident.

The Palestinians want the West Bank for a future state and deem Israeli settlements there illegal, as do most world powers. Israel and the United States dispute that view.

U.S.-backed peace talks broke down in 2014.



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