The Israeli army has stormed the occupied West Bank city of Jenin, killing at least six Palestinians and wounding 10 others, according to Palestine’s health officials.
The Palestine’s Health Ministry on Tuesday identified one of the fatalities as 26-year-old Mohammed Ghazawi. The ministry later announced five other Palestinians were shot and killed, without giving further details.
At least 26 Palestinians were also wounded during the raid, the ministry said, three of them seriously. The Israeli army said two of its soldiers were lightly wounded.
Israel said that among those who were killed was an alleged suspect accused of killing two Israelis in the northern West Bank town of Huwara last week.
The raid was the latest in a string of deadly violence by the Israeli military in the northern West Bank. Last month, a rare daytime military raid in the Old City of Nablus left 11 Palestinians dead.
Nabil Abu Rudeineh, spokesperson for Palestine’s President Mahmud Abbas, called the use of rockets in the Jenin an act of “all-out war”, Palestinian news agency Wafa reported.
Turkish Foreign Ministry published a statement saying it “strongly condemns” Israeli forces and illegal settlers over the increasing violence and attacks in the occupied West Bank.
Witnesses said Israeli troops entered the camp and surrounded a house as a group of Palestinians fought back, with the army reporting “explosive devices and blocks” were hurled at their soldiers.
Earlier, illegal Israeli settlers also attacked Palestinians in Huwara.
Israeli army and border police forces dispersed crowds of illegal settlers of what the military described as “a number of violent riots” in Huwara during the overnight attack on Monday.
Videos shared on social media showed a group of black-clad youths attacking a Palestinian car before its driver manages to pull away.
“They were shooting at us with live ammunition. God helped us,” said Omar Khalifa, who had just finished shopping at a supermarket and had got into the car with his family when the attack took place.
“My wife was sitting in the back and she hugged our daughter to cover her. We could have lost her, there was real danger to our lives.”
Other footage appeared to show Israeli soldiers dancing together with illegal Jewish settlers in the town on what was the Jewish festival of Purim.
“Huwara has been conquered, gentlemen!,” a voice is heard saying in Hebrew.
Tensions are high in the West Bank after hundreds of rampaging illegal Israeli settlers set Palestinian homes and cars ablaze, while a Palestinian man was killed in the nearby village of Zaatara.
Turkish foreign ministry on attacks and acts of violence in occupied West Bank:— TRT World Now (@TRTWorldNow) March 7, 2023
- Strongly condemns Israeli forces, settlers over increasing violence
- Israel's attack on Jenin refugee camp unacceptable
- Reiterates calls for end to these attacks & prevention of violence pic.twitter.com/ElJuHgpkYR
The clashes in Huwara have further exposed political fault lines in Israel that have already been deepened by a bitter battle over an overhaul of the justice system being pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s far-right government.
“A group of hooligan settlers, in the middle of the Purim holiday, went to attack innocent passers-by in the village of Huwara,” the leader of the centre-left opposition Labour Party Merav Michaeli said on Twitter.
“This is not ‘youth at the margins’ — this is the mainstream, supported by key members of the current government,” she added.
“Both of them are destroying Israel.”
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken overnight reiterated calls for both sides to de-escalate tensions in the occupied West Bank, where Israeli forces have killed more than 74 Palestinians this year.
In the same period, Palestinians have killed 14 Israelis and one Ukrainian woman in a series of apparently uncoordinated attacks by individuals.
Israeli far-right minister Bezalel Smotrich’s remarks that “Huwara needs to be erased” are repugnant and disgusting, says State Department spokesperson Ned Price.
Dozens of illegal Israeli settlers raided the occupied West Bank town of Huwara and vandalised Palestinian property following the killing of two settlers, with tensions in the region reaching their highest level in decades.— TRT World (@trtworld) March 1, 2023
A look at Israeli settler violence in the last years pic.twitter.com/K8z3wwnHjD