West Bank: Nine Palestinians killed in Israeli raid on refugee camp

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Nine Palestinians were killed Thursday in Jenin during an Israeli raid presented by the army as an operation against Islamist activists in the refugee camp of this city in the north of the occupied West Bank. It is the deadliest day in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict since the outbreak of violence between the Israeli army and the Islamic Jihad in Gaza during which at least 49 Palestinians, including combatants but also civilians including children, had perished in three days of August 2022.

The Palestinian Authority denounced “a massacre” and announced that it would end security cooperation with Israel, a first since 2020. The US State Department said it regretted this decision, judging “very important that the parties maintain or even deepen their coordination safe”.

The head of American diplomacy, Anthony Blinken, is due to visit Israel and the West Bank on Monday and Tuesday to insist, according to Washington, on “the urgent need to take de-escalation measures”. A total of nine people were killed in the Jenin camp and four seriously injured among several dozen injured, according to the Palestinian Ministry of Health. The United Nations has not recorded such a high toll in a single Israeli operation in the West Bank since it began counting the victims of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict in Israel and the Palestinian Territories in 2005.

“The situation in the camp (…) is critical,” Health Minister Mai al-Kaila said in a statement, saying Israeli forces fired tear gas canisters into the pediatric ward of a hospital there. .

Among the victims, the authorities count “an elderly woman”. Among the 16 injured, four people are said to be in serious condition. The Minister of Health said that, according to the Red Cross, their evacuation was difficult. She also asked for the organization of an “urgent meeting” with the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization (WHO) – which have not yet reacted.

The operation in the camp confirmed by Israel

“The Israeli army destroys everything and shoots everything that moves,” Jenin deputy governor Kamal Abu al-Roub told AFP, adding that residents “lived in a state of war”. “What is happening in Jenin and its camp is a massacre perpetrated by the Israeli occupation government,” said Nabil Abu Roudeina, spokesman for Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.

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On Telegram, the Israeli army confirmed that “security forces” were conducting “an operation in the Jenin refugee camp. Details will be provided later,” she said, without giving, for the time being, a human toll.

VIDEO. Nighttime footage of an Israeli raid that killed six Palestinians in the West Bank

The Israeli army, which has occupied the West Bank since 1967, carries out almost daily raids across this Palestinian territory, particularly in the north, in the areas of Jenin and Nablus, strongholds of armed Palestinian factions.

Thursday’s deaths bring to 30 the number of Palestinians, civilians or members of armed groups, killed since the beginning of the year in violence with Israeli forces or civilians. On Wednesday, two young Palestinians, including a teenager, were shot dead by agents of the Israeli security forces, according to the Palestinian Authority. One was killed after trying to stab a soldier and the other during clashes with police, according to Israel. According to an AFP count, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict has killed more than 200 Palestinians and claimed the lives of at least 26 Israelis in 2022.

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