Conflicts & War

Palestinian death toll hits 6 following West Bank clashes

Jerusalem, June 20 (EFE).- Two hospitalized Palestinians died Tuesday morning after clashes with Israeli troops at different points in the occupied West Bank, bringing the death toll to six and making it one of the most violent days of the year in the area.

Zakaria al Zaul, 20, and Amjad al Jaas, 48, died from injuries sustained Monday in clashes which included the use of Israeli combat helicopters for the first time in almost 20 years, according to state Palestinian news agency Wafa.

Al Zaul’s death came hours after he was shot by Israeli troops in the Palestinian town of Husan, near Bethlehem.

Wafa said the young man was hospitalized after being shot in the head during clashes at the entrance to Husan, “during which the (Israeli) occupation forces opened fire and fired tear gas and stun grenades.”

An Israeli military spokesman told EFE that his troops were “carrying out routine activities” at the site when “a suspect threw Molotov cocktails at them,” to which he said, they responded with shots.

Al Jaas died Tuesday morning in armed clashes in the Palestinian city of Jenin, in the northern West Bank and a stronghold of armed militias in the area.

Clashes lasted more than nine hours and injured 91 Palestinians and eight Israeli soldiers.

These clashes were triggered by a raid by the Israeli army, which captured two Palestinian militiamen and whose troops were trapped in the city after suffering damage to some of their vehicles due to the detonation of explosives while they were leaving the area.

As part of the operation to evacuate the soldiers, the army used combat helicopters, something it had not done in the occupied West Bank since the years of the Second Intifada between 2000 and 2005.

Among the Palestinians killed Monday in Jenin were three militants from the Palestinian Islamic Jihad group, as well as a 21-year-old and a 15-year-old boy.

Hours after clashes ended, Israel’s army said two of its soldiers were injured after being intentionally run over at a military checkpoint near Jenin.

During that incident, the two Palestinians on board the vehicle suffered injuries from shots fired by other soldiers at the scene, Wafa said.

The occupied West Bank is experiencing its highest peak of violence in almost 20 years, with 132 Palestinians killed so far this year, many of them militants but also civilians – including 22 minors – the majority in armed clashes with Israeli troops, which have intensified raids in the area.

The area has seen the proliferation of new Palestinian armed groups, the number of their attacks against Israelis, as well as attacks by settlers. On the Israeli side, 21 people have died in these incidents this year, most of them settlers and three of them minors. EFE


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