Israeli forces kill two Palestinians in West Bank raid

AFP , Sunday 18 Feb 2024

Two Palestinian men, including one member of an armed group, were killed in an Israeli raid on Sunday, in the latest surge in violence in the occupied West Bank.

Damage at Nur Shams refugee camp following the Israeli raid. Photo: AFP

The Palestinian health ministry said the two, aged 19 and 36, were pronounced dead from gunshot wounds after the raid in the Tulkarm refugee camp, which the UN says houses over 27,000 Palestinian refugees.

The Al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, the armed wing of Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas's Fatah party, identified the elder of the pair as a local commander.

His brother also called him "a member of the resistance".

The deaths came with international concern mounting about unrest in the West Bank since the   Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7.

EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell on Sunday described the situation as being at boiling point and warned that "we could be on the eve of a greater explosion".

At least five other people were wounded in the Israeli military operation, according to the Palestinian Red Crescent.

The Israeli military said "During the exchange of fire, an Israel Border Police officer was severely injured" and hospitalized.

The Israeli military has stepped up its near-daily raids across the West Bank since October 7.

It claims the raids are aimed at dismantling Palestinian militant groups such as Hamas.

At least 398 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli forces or settlers in the West Bank since October 7, according to the Palestinian health ministry.

Israel captured the West Bank and east Jerusalem, which it later annexed, as well as the Gaza Strip in 1967 during the Six-Day War.

Around three million Palestinians live in the territory alongside roughly 490,000 Israelis in settlements deemed illegal under international law.

* This story was edited by Ahram Online.

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