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Middle East

Israeli forces kill Palestinian in West Bank

Suspect of bombing in Tel Aviv killed in fire exchange with security forces that had come to arrest him in Bilin.

Last Modified: 22 Oct 2013 12:25
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Palestinian fighter was killed in fire exchange with security forces who had come to arrest him in Bilin [Reuters]

Israeli forces have killed a suspected Palestinian fighter wanted for his alleged involvement in a Tel Aviv bus bombing last year, Israel's Shin Bet security service has said.

The Shin Bet, which is in charge of Israeli internal security, said the Palestinian was killed on Tuesday in an exchange of fire with security forces who had come to arrest him near the village of Bilin in the occupied West Bank.

It said Mohammed Assi helped to plan a bus bombing in Tel Aviv last November in which 29 people were wounded.

The Islamic Jihad group said Assi, 28, was one of its members.

Violence has been on the rise in recent weeks in the West Bank. Five other Palestinians have been shot dead in the territory by Israeli troops and three Israelis have been killed in clashes and shootings since the Israeli-Palestinian peace talks resumed in July.

Municipal elections boycotted

Meanwhile, Israel was holding municipal elections that has traditionally been boycotted by Palestinians.

More than 5 million registered voters were expected to cast their ballots at 191 municipalities for both a mayor and a list of local council candidates.

However, Palestinians - more than a quarter of Jerusalem's residents - have boycotted local elections as usual to demonstrate their refusal to accept Israel's seizure and annexation of the eastern sector of the city after the 1967 Six Day War.

Tel Aviv mayor Ron Huldai, a former fighter pilot and Labour party member who has already served for 15 years, is expected to secure re-election.

His most serious rival is Nitzan Horowitz, an MP with the left-wing Meretz party who has campaigned on a platform of environmental issues and gay rights, but is trailing far behind in the polls.

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