JENIN: A Palestinian gunman from the Islamic Jihad militant group was shot dead by Israeli troops during clashes Wednesday in Jenin, a flash point in the occupied West Bank hit by waves of recent violence.

Mohammad Marei, 25, died from a bullet wound to the chest, the Palestinian health ministry said.

Islamic Jihad, a Palestinian armed group present in the West Bank and the Israeli-blockaded Gaza strip, said in a statement that Marei was one of their fighters and a “martyr” who died while confronting a raid “by occupation forces... in Jenin at dawn on Wednesday”.

The Israeli army said it conducted overnight “counter-terrorism activities” in several West Bank locations.

In Jenin, Palestinian gunmen opened fire on troops, the army said.

“A number of suspects also hurled explosive devices at soldiers, who responded with fire. A hit was identified,“ the army added, without specifically commenting on Marei’s death.

His killing comes amid spiralling violence in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Nineteen people -- mostly Israeli civilians inside Israel -- have been killed since late March, mainly in attacks by Palestinians and Israeli Arabs.

Israeli security forces have responded with near-daily raids in the West Bank, including in and around Jenin.

Forty-eight Palestinians have been killed, mostly in the West Bank - among them attackers and suspected militants but also non-combatants, including Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh, who was killed by Israeli army fire while covering a raid in Jenin, according to the United Nations.

Three Israeli Arab attackers have also been killed since late March.-AFP