Israel’s Deadly Raids Continue
Israeli forces have killed nine Palestinians during a raid in the north of the occupied West Bank in the deadliest single day in the territory in years. The Palestinian health ministry has said that two people have died – a 61-year-old woman and a male civilian.
Seven other casualties were claimed by various Palestinian militant groups, and two more people were killed in clashes in Ramallah and East Jerusalem later in the day.
The ministry has also said that about 20 more people were seriously injured in the violence on Thursday morning.
The Palestinian Authority, the political force that governs parts of the West Bank and works alongside Israel to contain militant activity, announced it was suspending security cooperation with the Israeli government.
Some testimonies have said that Israel Defence Forces returned fire and a fierce four-hour gun battle ensued after armed Palestinians shot at an Israeli armoured vehicle disguised as a commercial van. Be as it may be soldiers arrived at daybreak at several entrances of the Jenin refugee camp.
The IDF said it conducted the unusual daytime operation in Jenin, which ventured deep into the camp, because of intelligence suggesting a cell linked to Palestinian Islamic Jihad was planning to carry out imminent attacks against Israelis.
The Palestinian Red Crescent said Israeli officials initially prevented medics from entering the camp, making it difficult to reach the injured, four of whom were in critical condition. It said Israeli forces had fired tear gas canisters at the Jenin Government Hospital, resulting in inhalation injuries among children.
Jenin camp borders the Jenin municipality and is the northernmost camp in the West Bank since it was established in 1953 has seen a lot of damage. During the second intifada, in 2002, the Israeli military occupied the camp after ten days of intensive fighting, destroying more than 400 houses, and displacing more than a quarter of the camp’s population, recalls UNRWA.
Then in 2014, four refugees were killed during these operations.
Highest death toll
The raid’s death toll is the highest in a single operation ever recorded by the United Nations since the international body’s records began in 2005, further adds The Guardian.
The bloodshed in Jenin has brought to 30 the total number of Palestinians killed this year by Israeli operations, points out Arab news, the highest death toll in the occupied West Bank since the second intifada in 2005 with about 150 Palestinians and 30 Israelis killed last year.
Hamas, the Palestinian militant group in control of the Gaza Strip, along with the smaller group Islamic Jihad, promised a response to the Jenin violence. In the early hours of Friday, six rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip towards southern Israel that were intercepted by missile defences, the Israeli military said.
In response, the IDF launched bombing raids on what it said were rocket-making sites in central Gaza. So far, we don’t know about Israeli casualties.
As the Guardian explains, Thursday’s 26 bloodshed is the latest development in Operation Breakwater, a nine-month-old Israeli military campaign that has targeted Palestinian factions in the northern West Bank city and nearby Nablus on a near-nightly basis. It was launched in response to a wave of deadly Palestinian terrorist attacks last spring.
As if these raids and deaths were not enough, yesterday, Israeli forces killed five Palestinian gunmen in a raid on a West Bank’s Aqabat Jabr refugee.
The Israeli military said it was operating in the Aqabat Jabr refugee camp to apprehend the suspects behind a failed shooting attack last month at a West Bank restaurant, where attackers allegedly were thwarted by a weapon malfunction.
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