Palestine News: At least 6 Palestinians killed in Israeli raid on West Bank | World news

JENIN: The Israeli army raided the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, Palestinian health officials said, sparking a firefight that killed at least six Palestinians and wounded a dozen others.
The Israeli military said it killed the suspected assailant responsible for the fatal shooting of two Israeli brothers in the northern West Bank town of Hawara last week. Israeli military officials, speaking on condition of anonymity to discuss ongoing events, said two Israeli soldiers were injured in the raid, one seriously.
The Jenin Brigade, a loosely organized armed group based in the refugee camp, said its militants fired and threw explosive devices at Israeli soldiers who had surrounded a house in the refugee camp. The videos showed black smoke billowing in the distance after the army fired missiles at the besieged house. The Israeli military said troops returned with live fire to a barrage of gunfire, bricks and improvised explosive devices.
Tuesday’s raid was the latest in a series of deadly arrest operations by the Israeli military in the northern West Bank as violence reaches its highest level in years. The raid raised fears of more 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 never-ending occupation, now in its 56th year.
The Palestinian health ministry said six people were shot and killed on Tuesday – men aged between 22 and 49 – and 12 others injured. Israeli security forces have identified 49-year-old Abdul Fattah Kharushah as the militant who killed the Israeli brothers in Hawara.
The spokesman of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, Nabil Abu Rdenehhe denounced the Israeli military for waging “an all-out war” against the Palestinians and derailing recent efforts to restore stability.
The army said it also operated in the nearby city of Nablus, a hotspot, to arrest more suspects. Nablus residents said at least two people were arrested ahead of the army’s withdrawal.
In the past year of almost daily Israeli military incursions, the densely populated Jenin refugee camp has emerged as a hub of militant activity.
More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli fire this year, about half of them militants, according to a tally by the Associated Press. During the same period, Palestinian attacks on Israelis killed 14 people inside Israel.
Last month, a rare daytime military raid in the Old City of Nablus against the Lion’s Den, a newly formed militant group, sparked an hour-long firefight that left 10 Palestinians dead. Palestinian armed groups said six of the victims were militants. Others appeared to be spectators.
On Tuesday, Israel’s far-right minister of national security joined Jewish revelers in the occupied West Bank city of Hebron by dancing with residents of the hardline settler community as they celebrated the holiday of Purim.
Itamar Ben-Gvir – dressed in a costume that combines elements of various uniforms from the forces under his command – danced, sang and took selfies with partygoers and soldiers during an event in an Israeli settlement in Hebron. Ben-Gvir, an ultranationalist politician in Netanyahu’s new government, lives in an adjacent settlement.
It was the latest show of force by ultranationalist settlers in the occupied West Bank, who have been backed by Ben-Gvir and other allies in Israel’s new government. Overnight, settlers injured a Palestinian in the same Palestinian town where a mob of settlers torched cars and houses last week.
Hebron is a disputed city that is home to the Tomb of the Patriarchs, a site considered sacred by Muslims, Christians and Jews. Hundreds of hardline 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 close surveillance and moved from a settlement to an Israeli-controlled downtown area where Palestinians have been evicted or forced to close up shop over the years.
Ben-Gvir, who leads a small ultra-nationalist faction in Netanyahu’s government, has been a familiar face in Hebron for many years. Before taking office, he was arrested dozens of times and was once convicted of instigating and supporting a Jewish terrorist group.
Until recently, he had hung in his living room a photo 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 occurred on Purim that year.
Ben-Gvir, surrounded by bodyguards on Tuesday, is now a senior figure in the Israeli government, which includes prominent members of the settler movement. He held a baby in his arms and shook hands with the crowd as he explained the meaning of his costume. “We love all of you members of the security forces,” he said.
The celebrations came at a time of heightened tensions between Israelis and Palestinians across the West Bank.
Jewish settlers injured a Palestinian in the flashpoint town of Hawara, which was set on fire on Monday during a settler rampage last week, medics said. The town, where a Palestinian shot and killed two Israeli brothers, was the site of the worst settler-led attack in decades on February 26, when mobs of Israeli settlers set fire to buildings and cars in revenge for the shooting.
Late on Monday evening, a group of settlers arrived on the main street of Hawara in a van, playing loud music in what Palestinian officials described as a provocation. Monday evening marked the start of Purim, which is typically celebrated with costumes and revelry.
Ghassan Daghlas, a Palestinian official who monitors Israeli settlements in the northern West Bank, said several Israeli settlers attacked a supermarket. Paramedics said a man was being treated for a head injury.
Security camera footage near the store appeared to show Israeli settlers throwing stones at it and Palestinians throwing stones back. Outside, Israeli men dressed in black are seen throwing stones and hitting the windows of a car with people inside.
Other footage appeared to show Israeli settlers dancing with soldiers on the main street of Hawara, next to a van emblazoned with the words “Happy Purim”. revision.
Israel captured the West Bank, along with the Gaza Strip and East Jerusalem, in the 1967 Middle East war, territories Palestinians seek for their future statehood. In the decades since, more than 500,000 Jewish settlers have moved into dozens of settlements, which the international community regards as illegal and an obstacle to peace.


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