Israeli troops kill Islamic Jihad gunman in West Bank clash

RAMALLAH, West Bank (Reuters) -Israeli troops killed a Islamic Jihad gunman and wounded another Palestinian in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, the armed faction and medics said, during what the military described as clashes touched off by an operation to uncover a bomb cache.

The West Bank, among areas where Palestinians seek statehood, has seen a surge in violence over the last 18 months amid long-deadlocked U.S.-sponsored peacemaking efforts.

Israel's military said troops entered Nur Shams camp, near the town of Tulkarm, to seize bombs manufactured by local militants, and fired back after coming under attack from gunmen.

Medical officials said a 21-year-old local man was killed and a second Palestinian was wounded. Islamic Jihad, an Iranian-backed militant group, claimed the fatality as its member and said he had taken part in fighting.

In a separate incident, Israeli police said officers searching for a suspect involved in a criminal shooting incident in the Jordan Valley were shot at by the Palestinian suspect, returned fire and "neutralized" him.

The Palestinian Health Ministry said a man had been killed and residents of his village near the Palestinian city of Jericho said he was around 17-years-old, though there was no immediate official confirmation of his age.

Police said one officer was wounded in the clash.

(Reporting by Dan Williams, Ali Sawafta, Ammar Awad and Maayan Lubell; Editing by Alex Richardson and Mike Harrison)