Palestinians: At Least 4 Killed in Israeli Raid in West Bank


At least four Palestinians were killed and 44 wounded during an Israeli military raid on the Jenin refugee camp in the West Bank on Wednesday, the Palestinian Health Ministry said, the latest in a series of deadly Israeli operations in the occupied territory.

Israeli forces said they shot dead two Palestinians who had been sent to arrest at the camp for their suspected role in the recent shooting attacks. When soldiers surrounded a house in the camp, an explosive device detonated, a firefight ensued and Israeli troops killed the two Palestinians, the army said.

During the raid, armed clashes broke out in the camp as militants threw stones and opened fire on arriving troops. The violence killed two other Palestinians and injured at least 44 others, the Palestinian Health Ministry said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’s Fatah party identified one of the men killed in the clashes as a 24-year-old Palestinian intelligence officer named Ahmed Alawneh. The party called for protests and a general strike in the West Bank over what it described as a “dangerous escalation.”

Jenin in the northern West Bank, long considered a stronghold of Palestinian militancy and a frequent flashpoint of violence, is governed by the Palestinian Authority like most other Palestinian urban centers, despite the fact that the Israeli military routinely conducts arrest raids in the area.

Nabil Abu Rudeineh, a spokesman for Abbas, denounced the raid, saying Israel’s “policy of escalation” will not provide “legitimacy, security or stability, whether in the Islamic and Christian holy sites or in Jenin.”

Israel’s intensified military activities in the West Bank follow an increase in Palestinian attacks inside Israel last spring. Israel identified one of the Palestinians killed in Wednesday’s raid as Rahman Hazam, the brother of a Palestinian gunman who attacked a bar in central Tel Aviv last April and was killed by police.

Footage on Wednesday showed giant plumes of smoke billowing from a house in the overcrowded camp, apparently after the explosive detonated. On the streets of Jenin, youths hid behind cars as loud gunshots rang out. Israeli armored vehicles and bulldozers rumble across the battered roads. An angry mob of men marched through the narrow alleys of the camp holding aloft a shrouded body.

“We are here for martyrdom,” they shouted. “To you (God), our souls are cheap.”

Dozens of Palestinians have been killed in the West Bank crackdown, making this year the deadliest in the occupied territory since 2015. The city of Jenin regularly sees Israeli arrests leading to shootouts with camp residents.

Most of the Palestinians killed in the recent wave of Israeli raids were wanted militants or youths throwing stones or firing bombs at soldiers invading their villages. But some civilians, including an Al Jazeera journalist and a lawyer who inadvertently entered a battle zone, were also killed in the violence.

Israel captured the West Bank in the 1967 Middle East war and has built more than 130 settlements across the territory that are home to nearly 500,000 Jewish settlers. The Palestinians want the West Bank, home to some 3 million Palestinians, to form the main part of their future state.

The last serious peace talks failed more than a decade ago.

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