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Home World News Washington Post World News At least 6 Palestinians killed during Israeli invasion of West Bank

At least 6 Palestinians killed during Israeli invasion of West Bank



JENIN, West Bank — The Israeli army raided a house in a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank on Tuesday, sparking a battle that left at least six Palestinians dead and more than two dozen others wounded, Palestinian health officials said .

The army said one of those killed in the Jenin refugee camp was the suspected attacker in a fatal shooting of two Israeli brothers last week in the northern West Bank town of Hawara. An Israeli police spokesman said three Israeli troops were in fair to serious condition after being shot and injured during Tuesday’s firefight in Jenin.

The Jenin Brigade, a loosely organized armed group in the Jenin camp, said militants shot and hurled explosives at Israeli soldiers. The troops had surrounded the suspect’s house on the edge of the densely populated camp, a center of militant activity. Videos showed black smoke rising in the distance after the army fired rockets at the besieged building.

On Wednesday, Palestinian militants launched a rocket towards Israel, but it fell short and exploded in the Gaza Strip, the Israeli military said. The missile triggered warning sirens in open areas in southern Israel. There were no reports of casualties.

Tuesday’s raid was the latest in a series of deadly arrests by the Israeli army in the northern West Bank as violence rises to its highest level in years. The raid raised fears of further bloodshed as Israel struggles to contain growing unrest led by young Palestinians in the occupied West Bank, who are increasingly taking up arms against Israel’s indefinite occupation, now in its 56th year. .

The Palestinian Health Ministry said on Tuesday that six people were shot dead – men aged 22 to 49 – and 26 others were injured. Israeli security forces identified 49-year-old Abdul Fattah Kharushah as a Hamas militant who killed the Israeli brothers in Hawara. Hamas issued a statement identifying Kharushah as a member, without claiming responsibility for the brothers’ killings.

The military also said Palestinian militants shot down two drones over Jenin. Footage widely shared online showed young men cheering and taking selfies as they held the charred plane aloft.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu praised the army for killing the attacker and wished the injured a speedy recovery. “Whoever harms us will pay the price,” he said.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas spokesman Nabil Abu Rudeineh, meanwhile, denounced the Israeli military for waging “all-out war” against the Palestinians and for derailing recent efforts to restore calm.

The army said it had also raided the nearby flame city of Nablus and arrested two of the suspect’s sons, whom officials accused of helping their father carry out the attack.

More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, about half of them militants, according to a count by The Associated Press. Palestinian attacks on Israelis in East Jerusalem and the West Bank have killed 14 people in the same time.

Last month, a rare daytime military strike in the old city of Nablus targeting the Lion’s Den, a recently formed militant group, led to an hour-long gun battle that left 10 Palestinians dead. Palestinian armed groups said six of the victims were militants. Others turned out to be bystanders.

Earlier on Tuesday, Israel’s far-right national security minister Itamar Ben-Gvir joined Jewish revelers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron as they danced with settler hardline residents as they celebrated the holiday of Purim .

Ben-Gvir – dressed in a costume that combines elements of various uniforms of troops under his command – danced, sang and took selfies with partygoers and soldiers. Ben-Gvir, who leads a small ultra-nationalist faction in Netanyahu’s new government, lives in a settlement next to where the event took place.

Surrounded by bodyguards, he held a child and shook hands with the crowd as he explained the significance of his costume. “We love you all, members of the security forces,” he said.

It was the latest show of force by ultra-nationalist settlers in the occupied West Bank, who were supported by Ben-Gvir and other allies in the new Israeli government. Overnight, settlers wounded a Palestinian man in the same Palestinian town where a gang of settlers set fire to cars and houses last week.

Hebron is a disputed city with the Tombs of the Patriarchs, a place considered sacred to Muslims, Christians and Jews. Hundreds of hard-line settlers live in fortified enclaves under military protection in the heart of a city of more than 200,000 Palestinians.

Tuesday’s celebration came under heavy security and moved from a settlement to the Israeli-controlled central area where Palestinians have been expelled or forced to close shops over the years.

Ben-Gvir has been a familiar face in Hebron for years. Before taking office, he was arrested dozens of times and was once convicted of sedition and support of a Jewish terrorist group.

Until recently, he hung a picture in his living room of Baruch Goldstein, a radical Jewish settler who in 1994 killed 29 Palestinians during prayers in the tomb, known to Muslims as the Ibrahimi Mosque. The shooting took place on Purim that year.

Tensions in Israel and the West Bank are running high.

Late Monday, Jewish settlers wounded a Palestinian man in the town of Hawara, who was set on fire last week during a settler rampage following the killing of two Israeli brothers. Israeli settler mobs had set buildings and cars on fire in revenge for the shooting rampage that also killed a Palestinian.

Raising fears of further chaos, the settlers returned to Hawara’s main road in a van on Monday, with music blasting. Several of them attacked a supermarket, said Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank, wounding one man in the head.

Security camera footage near the store showed Israeli settlers throwing stones and Palestinians throwing stones back.

Other images appeared to show Israeli settlers dancing with soldiers on Hawara’s main road, next to a van with the words “Happy Purim” written on it. The army said the soldiers’ behavior was “not in line with expected behavior” and the incident was under review.

Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, in the 1967 Middle East War, areas the Palestinians seek for their future state. In the decades since, more than 500,000 Jewish settlers have taken up residence in dozens of settlements, which the international community considers illegal and an obstacle to peace.

DeBre reported from Jerusalem. Associated Press writer Laurie Kellman contributed from Tel Aviv, Israel.

This version corrected in the first paragraph that the raid took place in Jenin Refugee Camp, not Jenin City.

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