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Israeli troops kill at least 6 Palestinians in raids carried out in broad daylight

Semta News
Semta News
5 Min Read

JENIN — Israeli forces stormed into a refugee camp in the occupied West Bank city of Jenin on Tuesday, killing at least six Palestinians in the latest in a series of deadly military raids carried out in broad daylight. 

Israel said troops targeted and killed a Hamas operative responsible for gunning down two Israeli brothers last month. At least five other Palestinian men were also killed and more than 20 wounded, according to the Palestinian health ministry. 

As Israeli forces laid siege to a house inside the camp, NBC News saw large crowds gathered at the camp entrances and set tires aflame to try to block the raiding force’s exit. Israeli helicopter gunships and drones circled overhead, only sometimes visible through the plumes of black smoke billowing over the city.

At least three Israeli troops were wounded in the raid, Israeli police said.

Two Israeli drones also crashed in Jenin during the fighting. It was not immediately clear if they were shot down or malfunctioned.

Mohammad Shtayyeh, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, called the raid “a massacre” and appealed to the Biden administration to do more to stop Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities.  

Meanwhile, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, praised his country’s troops.

“Our brave warriors operated surgically in the heart of the murderers’ den,” he said. “I praise them and send recovery wishes to the wounded from among our forces. As I say again and again, time and time again: Whoever hurts us — his blood is on his head.” 

Mohammad Shtayyeh, the prime minister of the Palestinian Authority, called the raid “a massacre” and appealed to the Biden administration to do more to stop Israeli incursions into Palestinian cities. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is set to arrive in Israel on Wednesday. He’s expected to reinforce the Biden administration’s pleas for Israel to scale back its West Bank raids, while encouraging the Palestinian Authority to do more to confront militant groups. 

Barely months in, 2023 has already seen some of the worst violence in the West Bank, Israel and Jerusalem in two decades. More than 60 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli troops so far — around half of them militants, according to a tally by the Associated Press. Palestinian attackers have killed 14 Israelis and foreigners, according to the news agency’s records. 

The northern city of Jenin was the site of one of bloodiest battles between Israeli forces and armed Palestinian groups during the Second Intifada, the wave of violence that lasted from 2000 to 2005.

Today, the Jenin refugee camp is a largely ungoverned space. Palestinian security forces rarely enter the camp and have largely ceded control of its densely packed alleyways to armed groups. 

The Israeli military said the target of Tuesday’s raid was Abdul Fattah Kharushah, a 49-year-old fighter from the Hamas militant group. He is suspected of having killed Hillel Yaniv, 21, and his younger brother Yigal, 19, in an ambush as they drove through the town of Hawara on Feb. 26. 

Kharushah was surrounded in a house inside the Jenin camp and killed when Israeli forces fired rockets at the building, the Israeli military said. 

The killings of the Yaniv brothers sparked a series of attacks by Israeli settlers on Palestinians in the Hawara area, killing at least one Palestinian. 

Hours before the Jenin raid, an Israeli settler armed with an axe attacked a Palestinian family in their car as they pulled out of a supermarket on Hawara’s main strip. 

At the wheel was Omar Idrees, a 27-year-old nurse, along with his wife, his elderly parents and his 2-year-old daughter, Tia. Idrees told NBC News he managed to reverse the car away from the attacker but only after the assailant had sprayed a chemical irritant into the car and hit his father in the head with a rock. The elderly man is still in hospital.

Idrees laughed bitterly when asked if he believed Israel would find the man who attacked his family and prosecute him. 

“Of course not,” he said. “Who is protecting us? Who? Which government protect Palestinians? No one, it’s just talking. No one is protecting Palestinians.”

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