Conflicts & War

10 Palestinians killed, many injured on bloodiest day in West Bank in years

(Update: adds latest death, injuries during West Bank clashes)

Jerusalem, Jan 26 (EFE).- One Palestinian was killed and at least seven were injured on Thursday during violent clashes with Israeli forces across the West Bank, Palestinian officials said, following an Israeli army raid that left at least nine Palestinians dead earlier in the morning.

“Youssef Yahya Abdul Karim Muhaisen, 22, died of his serious wounds at the Palestinian Medical Complex in Ramallah, as a result of (Israeli) occupation gunfire in Al-Ram,” a village between Jerusalem and Ramallah, a statement from the Palestinian National Authority’s health ministry said.

Thursday was one of the deadliest days in the occupied West Bank in years, after nine Palestinians died during an Israeli raid in the city of Jenin, a stronghold for Palestinian militias.

Some 20 people were injured in Jenin, four of whom were in a serious condition, the Palestinian health ministry announced, adding the situation on the ground remained critical.

The Israeli military confirmed that there was an operation in the northern Palestinian city, saying that its forces had come under fire while trying to arrest wanted members from the Islamic Jihad movement.

Six suspects were “neutralized” in an exchange of gunfire and another turned himself in, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) wrote on Twitter.

The suspects were “heavily involved in planning and executing multiple major terrorist attacks on Israeli civilians and soldiers,” according to the IDF.

The Israeli military added that other deaths registered by the Palestinian health ministry were being investigated.

Israeli forces prevented ambulances from picking up the wounded, stormed a hospital and deliberately fired teargas canisters at the pediatric ward, the Palestinian health ministry said.

There have been intense Israeli raids and armed clashes with Palestinians, especially since late March last year when Israel launched a military operation it calls “Breaking the Wave” in response to a spate of attacks by Palestinians on Israeli soil.

The fatalities have mostly been militants, but also include children and civilians such as Al Jazeera correspondent Shireen Abu Akleh.

This spike in violence has led to calls for calm in the aftermath from the Arab League, the European Union and the UN.

In a statement, the UN’s Middle East envoy, Tor Wennesland, said he was “deeply alarmed and saddened by the continuing cycle of violence in the occupied West Bank” and urged both sides to “de-escalate tensions, restore calm and avoid further conflict.”

Last year, 170 Palestinians – both militiamen as well as unarmed civilians – were killed in the West Bank in incidents with Israel, the most violent year in the area since 2006, following the end of the Second Intifada.

So far in 2023, there have been 30 fatalities in the West Bank, an average of more than one per day. EFE


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