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Nine Palestinians Killed by Israeli Army in Clashes Near Jenin

Palestinians are reporting that nine people were shot and killed and several others wounded in a violent clash between the Israeli army and militants on Thursday in the West Bank city of Jenin

An ambulance drives past an Israeli military vehicle as smoke rises from objects set on fire by Palestinian demonstrators, in the ocupied-West Bank city of Jenin, on Thursday. [Zain Jaafar | AFP]

Nine Palestinians were shot and killed during a clash with the Israeli army in the West Bank city of Jenin, the local health ministry reported on Thursday. Following the deadly incident, a general strike was announced in the West Bank. Another Palestinian was killed by Israeli military fire in a separate incident near Ramallah.

According to the Palestinian Health Ministry, in addition to the nine dead, there are at least 20 people who were wounded in the incident, among them four in serious condition. Israeli sources estimate the death toll at around nine.

The Health Ministry identified three of the dead, including 24-year-old Sayeb Azariki, Izzidin Salahat and 60-year-old Magda Obaid.

Video showing injured Palestinians in a Jenin hospital, following the use of tear gas by the Israeli army.

Mai al-Kaila, the Palestinian Health Minister, also claimed that tear gas was fired into a Jenin hospital, causing some smoke-related injuries.

The Palestinian Health Ministry reported that a Palestinian was critically wounded by Israeli fire in a separate incident and evacuated to a hospital in Ramallah where he succumbed to his wounds.

Earlier on Thursday, Palestinians said the Israeli army had entered the Jenin refugee camp in a commercial truck, and violent clashes erupted shortly after. Witnesses say the incident took place at a building that was used as a meeting place for locals. Those same witnesses also reported that the army entered the area with bulldozers, and heavy gunfire ensued.

Armed militants affiliated with the Jenin Brigade, a loose affiliation of militants from several organizations in the West Bank, said that they had opened fire at Israeli soldiers, both with gunfire and improvised explosives.

The Palestinian Health Minister classified the situation in the refugee camp as "dire," adding that there are a number of wounded Palestinians who have yet to receive treatment from emergency services since the Israeli army blocked their access to the scene.

The Palestinian Foreign Ministry reacted to the incident, calling on the international community and the United States to "intervene immediately" against what they called the "Israeli killing machine."

The Palestinian President's Office condemned the incident as "a massacre from the Israeli occupation government, in the shadow of international silence."

A video showing an apparent Israeli army drone being downed over Jenin.

In addition to the exchange of gunfire, there are reports of an Israeli drone that was downed in the area.

The deputy head of the political bureau of Hamas, Saleh al-Arouri, referred to Thursday's events in Jenin and said that "the occupation will pay a price for the massacre it committed." al-Arouri, who is responsible for the West Bank sector in Hamas, called on the resistance forces in the West Bank to "respond and strive for contact all over the West Bank and the Green Line areas."

Germany's ambassador in Israel, Steffen Seibert, tweeted that he's "worried" about the "high number of casualties" during the raid. He added that while Israel has a right to protect its citizens from terrorism, it must do so "in a proportionate way" and "in accordance with international law."

A Palestinian source says that Egyptian officials have reached out to the various factions in Gaza, imploring them not to escalate the situation.

The Israeli army later confirmed the events, saying that its forces "were active in the Jenin refugee camp" and were looking for terror suspects connected to the Islamic Jihad. Three of them were "neutralized" during an exchange of gunfire, the army confirmed.

An additional suspect barricaded himself in a building, and the army shot and killed two additional suspects that attempted to escape from the building. One of the suspects turned himself over to the IDF.

Following the violent clash in the northern West Bank, the Israeli army's Southern Command is preparing for a scenario in which Hamas, Islamic Jihad or both will fire rockets from the Gaza Strip.

Israeli military vehicles are seen during clashes with Palestinians during a raid in Jenin on Thursday. [Raneen Sawafta | Reuters]

The activity in the refugee camp in Jenin comes a day after a 20-year-old Palestinian from the refugee camp was shot dead after attempting to carry out a stabbing attack of an Israeli soldier by the northern West Bank settlement of Kedumim.

In a separate incident on Thursday, three Palestinians were shot and seriously wounded near Ramallah.

Thursday's incident brings the number of Palestinians killed this year to 29. Nearly 150 Palestinians were killed last year, making 2022 the deadliest since 2004, according to the Israeli rights group B'Tselem.

Israel says most of the dead were militants, but youths protesting the incursions and others not involved in the confrontations have also been killed.


(c) 2023, Haaretz



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