Israeli border police killed a Palestinian during a raid aimed at netting illegal immigrants in a suburb of commercial capital Tel Aviv early Saturday, a police spokeswoman said.
“Border police carried out an operation this morning in a cemetery in Petah Tikva looking for foreigners residing in Israel illegally,” Luba Samri said.
“For reasons that are still unclear, a border policeman opened fire on an illegal resident, a Palestinian, who was there, and killed him,” she said.
Israel requires that all Palestinians from the occupied territories apart from annexed Arab east Jerusalem have permits to be in the country.
The number of permits issued has dwindled to a trickle since the second intifada, or uprising, of 2000 to 2005.
Despite Israel’s construction of a vast separation barrier cutting through the West Bank, small numbers of Palestinians still manage to slip into Israel in search of illegal employment.
Last year, Israel launched a crackdown on what it said were 60,000 illegal immigrants from Africa, rounding up and deporting 3,920 by the end of 2012, and building a high-tech fence along the border with Egypt.
Parliament is mulling new legislation aimed at deporting thousands more migrants whom the government regards as a threat to the Jewish character of the state.
The bill, which was approved by ministers last Sunday, was formulated after a previous law from last year, allowing illegals to be detained without trial for three years, was overturned by the supreme court in September.
Human rights groups say that the majority of the African migrants in Israel cannot be deported because of threats to their lives in their homelands of Sudan and Eritrea.