RAMALLAH (Palestinian Territories), April 1 — Israeli forces shot dead a Palestinian today during clashes in the flashpoint occupied West Bank city of Hebron, the latest in a surge of violence, the Palestinian health ministry said.

The 29-year-old Palestinian was shot and killed “with live ammunition”, the ministry said in a brief statement.

The Palestinian Wafa news agency identified the dead man as Ahmad al-Atrash, who had previously served six years in an Israeli prison.

Asked by AFP, the Israeli army had no immediate comment.

Clashes erupted in the centre of Hebron between Palestinian residents and Israeli forces, an AFP journalist said.

Hebron, the biggest city in the West Bank, is home to about 1,000 Jewish residents living under heavy Israeli military protection, among more than 200,000 Palestinians.

The clashes come amid heightened tensions ahead of the start of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Hebron hosts a disputed holy site, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi mosque and to Jews as the Cave of the Patriarch, which is revered by both faiths.

The Palestinian Red Crescent said it also treated 70 people wounded in clashes with the Israeli army on Friday in the Nablus area of the northern West Bank.

On Thursday, Israeli security forces raided the West Bank city of Jenin after three fatal attacks rocked the Jewish state.

Two Palestinians were killed in clashes, the health ministry said.

Elsewhere in the West Bank the same day, a Palestinian man who stabbed and seriously wounded an Israeli civilian with a screwdriver on a bus was shot dead south of the city of Bethlehem.

The escalation in violence follows an attack on Tuesday night in Bnei Brak, an Orthodox Jewish city near Tel Aviv.

A Palestinian with an M-16 assault rifle killed two Israeli civilians, two Ukrainian nationals and an Israeli-Arab policeman.

A total of 11 people have been killed in anti-Israeli attacks since March 22, including some carried out by assailants linked to or inspired by the Islamic State group for the first time.

Ramadan tensions last year escalated into an 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls Gaza.

Israel captured the West Bank from Jordan in the Six-Day War of 1967.

It has since built a string of settlements across the territory that are considered illegal under international law but are home to some 475,000 Israelis.

Peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians have been frozen for years.

Ramadan tensions last year escalated into 11 days of bloody conflict between Israel and Hamas, the Islamist group that controls the Gaza Strip. — AFP