Tensions rose Sunday, September 26 in the occupied West Bank, where five Palestinians were killed in clashes with the Israeli army, which has been carrying out a military operation against the Islamist movement Hamas the day before.
Three Palestinians were killed in the village of Biddu, about ten km northwest of Jerusalem, and two others in Borquin, near Jenin, in the northern West Bank, according to the Palestinian health ministry, the Israeli army announcing that four Palestinians had been killed.
An “anti-terrorist operation” according to Israel
Israeli army spokesman Amnon Shefler said the clashes took place during “an operation to dismantle a Hamas terrorist cell.” According to him, the operation, which began on Saturday evening, is still ongoing.
Sunday morning, “exchanges of fire broke out when the army came to arrest” another Palestinian in Borquin, the spokesperson continued. Two Israeli soldiers, an officer and a fighter were seriously injured there, according to an army statement.
Separately on Sunday, three Palestinians were killed “in crossfire in Biddu,” said the spokesperson, who said the four Palestinians killed were members of Hamas.
Hamas confirmed the death in the clashes of four of its members, including one identified as Ahmad Zahran, in Biddu, all members of the Ezzedine al-Qassam brigades, its armed wing.
For its part, Islamic Jihad in Palestine, another armed group claimed that one of the Palestinians killed in Borquin, Ossama Soboh, was one of its members.
Palestinian mayor of Borquin says Israeli army operation and subsequent clashes left many Palestinians injured
A “heinous crime” according to the presidency Palestinian
Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, on his way to New York where he is to deliver a speech to the United Nations General Assembly, said the operation was intended to prevent “a terrorist attack”, according to a statement from his office.
The presidency of the Palestinian Authority has condemned a “heinous crime committed by the Israeli occupation forces in Jerusalem and Jenin”, according to a statement from his office.
Four Palestinians were recently killed in clashes with Israeli forces at Jenin refugee camp in the northern West Bank where clashes have escalated in recent weeks.