Israeli soldiers kill Palestinian in West Bank arrest raid

RAMALLAH, West Bank, July 6 (Reuters) - Israeli forces shot dead a wanted Palestinian suspect and arrested two dozen in the occupied West Bank on Wednesday, the military said, as tensions simmered ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's visit to the region next week.

Palestinian officials identified the man killed as Rafiq Ghannam, 20, shot by soldiers in the town Jaba near Jenin, where Israeli forces have stepped up raids in recent months after men from the area carried out deadly street attacks in Israel.

"I heard Israeli forces shouting at a man, asking him to stop before I heard eight shots fired," said a Palestinian Jaba resident, who asked not to be identified.

The Israeli military said its forces were conducting counter-terrorism operations across the West Bank and had arrested 24 suspects.

The man killed had tried to escape the soldiers when they opened fire, the military said, adding that the soldiers provided first aid to him before he died and that the incident was being examined.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry said that Israel was "preceding President Biden's visit by more field executions and escalation of aggression against the Palestinian people".

Biden is expected to meet separately with Israeli and Palestinian leaders before he heads to Saudi Arabia on his July 13-16 trip.

U.S.-brokered peace talks aimed at establishing a Palestinian state in East Jerusalem, the West Bank and Gaza collapsed in 2014 and have shown no sign of revival.

Palestinians were angered this week by the results of a U.S. investigation into the death of Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who had been shot during an Israeli raid in Jenin last month. read more

The U.S. State Department said on Monday Abu Akleh was likely killed by Israeli gunfire which was probably unintentional. The Palestinian investigation concluded she was shot deliberately, an allegation that Israel denies.

Reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi in Gaza and Ali Sawafta in Ramallah; Editing by Maayan Lubell and Nick Macfie

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